Sunday, March 30, 2014

Book Review of Disappointment

   I was really excited when I finally got my copy of "A Curious Invitation: The Forty Greatest Parties in Fiction" by Suzette Field from the library. It takes forever to get anything through inter library loan-I should be happy that I can still access books through inter library loan. Funding was tight and it was almost cut, but some wonderful person donated money and yay!- I can still get books from other libraries. This saves my wallet. I still buy books, of course, this just lets me decided which ones are higher up on the list.
  The idea of the book is brilliant- parties in works of fiction. Who was invited, why, the food, the clothes, the literary significance. However, the book disappointed me on several levels.
   First-There is no rhyme of reason for the books that are picked or the order they are placed in the book. We go from Gatsby's party to Queen Alice's feast, a little order would have been nice. Maybe the year the book came out or by the year the book was set? Something that gives a sense of order and progression of a party. Maybe even the tamest party to the wildest?
   Second- The book is just a recap of the books it is describing. Text is taken ver batim from books. Thanks, but I've already read "The Great Gatsby", I don't need to reread exactly what everyone was wearing as listed in the book. Yes, Gatsby's shirts are a big deal-we all know that.
  Third-No recipes. I repeat, NO RECIPES. How can you have a party book and not have recipes?! I was expecting at leaf one literary recipe per party. Blinis and caviar from "Brothers Karamazov", Bootleg Gin Cocktail from "Great Gatsby", maybe even a Pangalatic Gargleblaster from "Life, the Universe and Everything"?
  And does the prom in "Carrie" really count as a party? Was it just chosen because Carrie killed everyone? Why "Mansfield Park"? It is Jane Austen's most boring book?! No parties from Ayn Rand?
  I guess my expectations were just a tad high on what to expect from the reviews. 

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