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Monday, September 21, 2009

The Man of the House

Stephen McCauley 的小说总是有种特 hazy 的调调儿,人物啦,时间啦,情节啦,线条啦,都炖成一锅粥,好像没什么条理纹路,都是一些生活观察和俏皮话堆砌起来算数。但是看呀看呀,总要到一半之后才渐渐品出味儿来。这一本是九十年代写的,看到后来才总结出各个人物和情节的其实是有 pattern 的,在这本书里的 pattern 或者主题就是 loser 的父亲们和 fending for themselves 的儿女们,各个人物都或多或少以不同形态和方式 fit into the pattern,虽然表面上几乎看不出有什么规律,净是一些看似随意散乱的细节。

看不出 pattern 其实也无所谓,他的最大能耐就是对现状的归纳总结,虽然可以称之为“怪话”,但其实毫无恶意,而是心存怜悯同情的热讽,或者自嘲。每隔几页就会遇到令我想摘录下来的话。Funny but sad, but funny.

She was a wan woman with the anesthetized expression of a poet. Cambridge was crawling with brilliant, medicated poets collapsing under the weight of hypersensitivity and inherited wealth.

I'd settled comfortably into thinking of Vance as the more troubled of the two of us: he had a better education and nicer apartment than me, a serious career, a pension fund and health insurance, but he also had a minimum of two chins.

书里的 loser 父亲们各有各的特征。男主角的爹特别可笑又可悲。住在女儿家的地库里,居然还搭上了一个女朋友,女朋友还搬进去跟他住。

这一本快看完了。下一本已经借到手: Nick Hornby 的 How to be Good.

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