Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Flash for Freedom

I love Library Thing. I love adding the books I've finished and then picking out the exact cover of the book that I read. Yes, this cover of "Flash for Freedom" had me hiding it on the El. Oh, to have worked at Signet in the 70s and put this one out.

This was not my favorite Flashman installment. While the writing is still great, and can make you laugh out loud, the subject matter was disturbing and I was not sure how to react to it. I know you can't always, or maybe shouldn't always, read about safe subjects but it at times it was shocking to read Flashman's account of slavery in the United States. Flashman maintains his anti-hero status in this book and while I wanted him to take a stand against slavery, that is just not his style. He is out to protect himself first and have a good romp second - everyone else be d.....ed. (This one used a lot of ellipses).

It is fiction after all but it got me thinking about reading unpleasant topics. Shouldn't you read about history, even the parts that make you cringe? We can't pretend that these things did not happen and in this book we are seeing the events through the eyes of a narrator we may not like or trust at all times. Again, the writing is great but the subject and the trial at the end, which was tiring, made this one not as good as the others I have read. I will keep on with this series because I can't resist a good tale by Flashman.

And now for some insight into my introduction to books and reading. Below is from my mother in response to an email discussion she and my brother were having about "Where The Wild Things Are". G. does not remember it and thought the movie was really bad. We agreed that "Where the Wild Things Are" was my book and not his - and I'm very bad at sharing.

Where the Wild Things Are was Sarah's favorite book and I have no desire to see the movie. I think that Kris (my cousin) had it and Sarah would make a beeline to her bedroom to get it when she went to Jane's (my aunt). I can remember when she got it as a present, she said that "now I have my own copy". (See? My own copy - which I still have and it's in pristine condition).

Sarah, I have always said that by Christmas of 1st grade, you could read anything you put your hands on. I never made a big deal of reading to my children in bed. You were there to sleep and BOTH of you went to bed with no tantrums, stalls, anything. (And trust me, I still do. Time to go to bed? Oh, goody!).

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