Review: Bathing the Lion by Jonathan Carroll

Bathing the LionIn Jonathan Carroll’s surreal masterpiece, Bathing the Lion, five people who live in the same New England town go to sleep one night and all share the same hyper-realistic dream. Some of these people know each other; some don’t.

When they wake the next day all of them know what has happened. All five were at one time “mechanics,” a kind of cosmic repairman whose job is to keep order in the universe and clean up the messes made both by sentient beings and the utterly fearsome yet inevitable Chaos that periodically rolls through, wreaking mayhem wherever it touches down—a kind of infinitely powerful, merciless tornado. Because the job of a mechanic is grueling and exhausting, after a certain period all of them are retired and sent to different parts of the cosmos to live out their days as “civilians.” Their memories are wiped clean and new identities are created for them that fit the places they go to live out their natural lives to the end.

For the first time all retired mechanics are being brought back to duty: Chaos has a new plan, and it’s not looking good for mankind…

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Top Ten Tuesday: More and Less Trends

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and Bookish with a new list subject every Tuesday.

This week’s Top Ten is Top Ten Trends You’d Like To See More of/Less of. I can think of plenty of what there should be less of, but I thought I’d do a combination for this one.

What trends would you like to see less or more of?

Lets See Less of;

  1. Love Triangles: YA fiction seems to be the worst one when it comes to love triangles and I understand that love can be confusing when you’re that age (even when you’re older), but are love triangles really the best way to go about showing that confusion and identifying with anyone? I’ve read so many books with love triangles that I now consider them a cop-out, an easy way of creating drama and confusion.
  2. Damsels in Distress: How often do you come across a story these days with a female protagonist who has a problem and either whinges about it or leans on a male character for help? This happens too many times! And not only are those sorts of characters frustrating, but they paint a horrible picture of what women are like. If I acted like half the female characters I had come across I would request to be locked up because women like that are a menace to society! Continue reading

The Time Traveler’s Wife

Finally.

Readers may appreciate this – when you’re reading book after book and all you really want is to read a story you can completely submerge yourself in to the point where when you open the covers and begin to read, from that moment on you forget all around you.

For the most part this year I have been reading the same story and it’s not that it’s an uninteresting story or lacking entertainment. The story so far has been interesting, entertaining, and humorous at times and I love the characters, but as much fun as I have had reading it I haven’t been so thoroughly absorbed when that’s what I’ve been wanting.

And now I have found a story that has met my wishes, finally.

I have just finished The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger after several days of blissful and utter submergence (which I’m finding hard to get myself out of now that the story has finished) and this is a book I would normally not have read. I doubt I would have read it at all if it didn’t have time travel and wasn’t the book of the month for my forum, especially with the way the synopsis is written. This is something that pisses me off because the synopsis doesn’t always completely portray what’s in between the covers and therefore a lot of people may miss out on a well written, engrossing story like I almost did (because I’m not a fan of romance).

Synopsis

This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare’s struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.


I love how Niffenegger writes. I love how she portrays these characters, her descriptions, how she uses the idea of time travel as a genetic disorder and how she can put together a story following a time line that’s all over the place and not have it fall apart like it so easily could. You go from past to present to future and it’s seamless and gives the feeling of a piece of fruit.

Fruit? I know this is probably going to be one of the shittiest analogies, but the other objects I have popping into my head are a dividing line of sorts and a leveller.

Think of a piece of fruit. An orange (because I’m hungry and craving one) that’s being cut down the middle and the sides fall apart to reveal the textures and lines, but don’t look at them as if they are just the innards of this orange, but roads and patterns leading somewhere while being connected all at the same time. And then see the fruit come together again without the knife as if someone has filmed it and omitted the knife via editing.

Once again the fruit is whole and all is connected, but at the same time you know that there’s more then what the outside of the fruit presents. There’s roads diverging on the inside and intricate patterns.

This is the impression I get form this story. It’s like Niffenegger has cut right down the middle, but is telling the stories from two halves and she’s making them whole. The characters and their growth fit beautifully with the story, the ending ends it all perfectly, and I think I’m in love with this book. I think I might be in love with Niffenegger’s style.

I also think I have to go have lunch before I start rambling nonsensically.