Sunday, January 27, 2013
Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones - DNF
With quotes like this how could I not love this story?
You cannot pretend to read a good book. Your eyes will give you away. So will your breathing. A person entranced by a book simply forgets to breath. The house can catch alight and a reader deep in a book will not look up until the wallpaper is in flames.
Normally I love stories about the transformative power of literature so I figured Mr. Pip would be a shoe-in, but no.. I'll have to put it aside for another time or maybe just go ahead and DNF it for this year as I probably won't get around to picking it up again. I don't mind coming-of-age stories, but the writing in this one seems a little too YA for me right now. Maybe another time? I'll keep it on the shelf just in case.
Thirteen-year-old Matilda lives on a copper-rich tropical island that has been shattered by war, from which the teachers have fled along with everyone else. Only one white man chooses to stay behind - the eccentric Mr. Watts, object of much curiosity and scorn. He sweeps out the ruined schoolhouse and steps in to teach the children when there is no one else, and his only lesson consists of reading from his battered copy of Great Expectations, a book by his friend Mr. Dickens. First the children, and then the entire village, are riveted by the adventures of a young orphan named Pip, their imaginations aflame with dreams of Dickens's London and the larger world. But in a ravaged place where even children are forced to live by their wits and daily survival is the only objective, imagination - it turns out - is a dangerous thing. (back cover)