Tuesday, March 9, 2010

book ends book list: Indignation

7. During the semester, I often struggle with finding time to read for fun. But I know that it's an important part of the writer's life--to read books that will inspire us and teach us something new. So, I've been restraining from trying to do homework on the train to and from school, and instead, I only let myself read something that's "for fun." Somehow, even with just ten minutes here and there, I finished my seventh book of the year in just over a week. (It helped that it was short.) My current fiction professor recommended Phillip Roth's Indignation to me after reading a chapter of my novel. It would help me better understand the mindsets of college kids in the mid-twentieth century, he said. And it really did. Indignation is a story about the most uptight kid you could ever meet--Marcus--and his experiences at an equally uptight Christian college in the midwest, all the while as he is trying to not get in over his head with a girl who had a history of problems with alcohol (gasp!). What I liked the most about this book was how deeply embedded we were into the mind of the main character, and how his motives were very easy to understand, even though they were murky and muddled, as motives so often are.

L. Stacks

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