February 12, 2005

Book report: I thought it was good.

It's irritating me immensely that, having just put down an absolutely wonderful book, I can't think of anything eloquent to say about it. I would have thought that I'd be more likely to write interestingly after 15 hours (or whatever) of basking in someone else's wit; instead, for some reason, I can barely string words together to write a review. So, screw it.

The book is Cakes and Ale by W. Somerset Maugham. (I should point out right now that I've never read Of Human Bondage, so general posterity's view of the man is pretty much unknown to me. I grabbed the book off a shelf mostly because it had a picture on the cover with a really interesting hat.) It's ornately snide, or snidely ornate, and I mean that in the best possible way. It goes for three lovely flowing paragraphs about someone's charm and talent before being kind enough to let you know that you're being had and it's really all about what an unredeemed twit the guy is. It's the perfect kind of prose to come from a malicious cranky bastard, which Maugham may or may not have actually been. I really have no idea. I'd like to think he was. If you know otherwise, don't disillusion me. Just go read the damn book.

Now that I'm done with it, I'm spending the rest of the weekend sewing. It's all part of my dream to re-invent my wardrobe in a form that contains only homemade skirts and thrift-store shirts. It's working pretty well so far, although I ran out of long-sleeved black t-shirts today and soundly cursed Michele and Kristen for stopping me from buying any more last month. They have no understanding of my great vision. Posterity will forget them, and remember the way my neatly draped hound's-tooth check contrasted so elegantly with the plainness of my black shirt. At $1.49 a yard and $3 for the shirt, they'll say, that's a hell of a vision.

Posted by dianna at February 12, 2005 09:04 PM

I've only read "The Moon and Sixpense," also a good one. Maybe I'll pick up the hat book. Thanks for the recommendation.

Posted by: jason s at February 13, 2005 01:26 AM

I can say that Of Human Bondage is one my favorite books. Moon and Sixpence is also good. Maugham is way underrated.

Posted by: Meaty Fly at February 13, 2005 01:41 AM

Okay, I totally lied. I read The Moon and Sixpence a few years ago and loved it, so it wasn't only the hat that attracted me to this one. But the hat made a much better story, really.

Anyone whom I see on a semi-regular basis is free to borrow Cakes and Ale from me if they'd like, by the way.

Posted by: Dianna at February 13, 2005 01:54 PM

if only i had known that i was impeding such a grand vision!

i assumed, foolishly, that you were merely trying to inundate your closet with clone black t-shirts. they could swap fibers and collars while fondling sleeves in the closet; ultimately producing the most well-designed, (ill-conceived), shirt ever seen.

in conclusion: i am always up for another round of used clothes shopping.

also, i feel cheated by your maugham lie.

Posted by: michele at February 14, 2005 10:14 AM

Actually, of all my long-sleeved black t-shirts, no two are of similar enough species to breed. It's a shame, really. I'd kind of like to mix the really soft stretchy one with the one with the super-long sleeves, and I keep putting them next to each other in the closet in the hopes that they'll get up to something while I'm at work. But it doesn't seem to be working.

I think I'm going back to Thrift Town this weekend and probably buying that damn wedding dress while I'm there. Katie's going to be in town, either to talk me into it or to talk me out of it. This could maybe turn into another group outing if people are interested? And willing to run to keep up with our efforts to simultaneously spend Saturday in three places at once?

Posted by: Dianna at February 14, 2005 11:04 AM

i'm spending saturday at wondercon, actually, so you'll have to count me out. though i'd like to reiterate my two cents in favor of buying the wedding dress.

Posted by: michele at February 14, 2005 12:07 PM