tripping the life unbalanced

Thursday, March 16, 2006

#9 Envy

Envy by Kathryn Harrison reminded me of how I felt when I watched the film American Beauty. Bored. And angry that I had to listen to yet another middle-aged suburban man bemoan his existence and lackluster life. Everyone else I knew loved that movie - even raved about it. But me? I sat in the theatre with my fists clenched and my foot tapping. It just seems that the world of literature and film is cluttered with badly drawn portraits of the middle aged man and his depressed state. This book features yet another one - and I have to admit that I couldn't have cared less about his failures, insecurities, or hollowness.

I'm not saying that this theme isn't important or can't be examined at all. I just think it can done better (thinking of Philip Roth's American Pastoral here), and with a character that doesn't make me want to scratch my eyes out.

Envy just made me bored and long for it to be over. Quickly and painlessly - which was apparently impossible according to its author.


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