MOTIVATION for READING: ROOSTER!!
WHAT’s it ABOUT: I don’t think I can begin to accurately describe everything nor even give a hint of what the book is about. Truly, much of it is over my head. But, ohwhattheheck — I’ll try: the story has a kickass lady protag who has a way with words and an admirable confidence in her abilities. Her name is Christine but her family calls her Oreo. She herself asks others to call her Anna. Her Jewish father and African American mother divorce when Christine/Anna/Oreo is still a baby. When she is in her early teens, she goes on a quest to find her father. Mythology, social commentary, feminism, racism, many languages, new-to-me words, made-up words, hybrid words and references many of which whooshed right by me – some I attempted to define which meant this book took me longer to get through but that is OK because I love finding out new things. Lots of situations and history that I didn’t relate to even when I did attempt to search. However, it is a fun and wild ride. I’ll link other reviews if this has you even remotely curious.
WHAT’s GOOD: Vocabulary? humor? Yes, let’s go with vocab and comedy.
What’s NOT so good: The fact that much went over my head… But what I did ‘get’, I enjoyed. It is extremely irreverent. She pokes fun at everything.
FINAL THOUGHTS: If I was a good and earnest student of literature, I would buy this book and read it again and again and again.
Note #1. “Her sprachgefühl told her that Eric was stretching a point (or, rather, a wedge) and that the professor was perpetuating Partridge’s error by persisting in this pie-eyed usage.”
Define sprachgefühl : intuitive feeling for the natural idiom of a language.
Note #2. “as the train filled, the hardened travelers knew that it was pie-in-the-sky to hold out for a double seat,…”
Note #3. Apple pie with Oreo crust.
Note #4. “She ducked into a luncheonette, sat in a booth in the back, and ordered a hot sausage sandwich, a Shabazz bean pie and a Pepsi.”
RATING: Four slices of BEAN PIE.
Reviews: The New Yorker article by Danzy Senna (which is also the book’s Introduction), A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook, Teresa’s review at Shelf Love (she says “And so, this kooky story becomes a celebration of all identities.”). More reviews can be found here.