Sunday, September 11, 2011
54/365 The Birthday Ball by Lois Lowry
So. I've said it before, I will say it again - I will always like The Giver best of her books. Not really because it scares me or makes me want to take up some sort of activism and save the world, but because I've read it so many darn times that it's become a comfort book. (Which is sort of strange, now I think about it. I don't know why I find negative utopias so enjoyable. Some deep, horrible psychological mess of a reason, no doubt. Or just regular morbid-ness.) Even A Summer To Die, which was the first sad book I ever liked and cried in, didn't shake The Giver's spot as number one.
I suppose if, you know, I actually belonged to the target age range I might have enjoyed this one more. But even for an aged spinster it was a pleasant, mindless way to while away the hour after lunch. I enjoyed myself, but I don't think I will ever feel compelled to read it again. I laughed a few times. The illustrations reminded me somewhat of my beloved Quentin Blake. It was all very nice.
That being said, I feel like this isn't really Lois Lowry. Or, at least, that she is capable of way, WAY more. Yes! I understand that this was meant to be light and occasionally funny and cute! But anybody can do light and occasionally funny and cute. Yes! I can understand if Lois Lowry doesn't want to write intense stuff her whole life. But I also think that there's something to be said for keepin' the quality high and books that are worthy of the writer.
Gee whiz. It's ridiculous that your humble, spotty, slacker servant is criticizing LOIS LOWRY. And it's such a high-profile blog, this one! What a way to show her! Now I might go post a disapproving facebook status! I'll show her!
But, seriously, I did sort of like the book. I swear. I just didn't adore it. I can see two me's ago liking it. (When I speak of two me's ago I am being swish and referring to the whole "you get new cells every seven years" thingy. Which is like that bit in Amelie where the guy reads that there are more connections in his brain than atoms in the universe - I've heard these statements from fairly credible sources, but I still have a hard time believing them.)
CONCLUSION: Pleasant characters who are enthusiastic about learning, proud to be able to read and write, and respectful and kind to one another. Also, there is a man who makes comments about the magnificence of his own thighs. Which was entertaining.