Sunday, March 18, 2012

Arsonist's Read-Along, Days 3-4

This week I'm participating in a read-along of An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England by Brock Clarke with the bloggers at Literate Housewife and Indie Reader Houston. I'll be updating my blog as I'm reading, and checking in on what other book bloggers are saying. The event runs through Monday, March 19. 

Here are my observations from my last two days of reading (page 223 through the end of the book):

- Have you ever felt like things already aren't going well and then the rug gets pulled out from under you again, and again, and then one more time? That's what I kept feeling like for Sam, the narrator, during the last 100 pages of the book. So, sure he's not the most upstanding guy around, but when his whole world fell apart, piece by piece, all around him, I kept thinking things just couldn't get worse for him. But they did.
- I was really struck by Sam's attitude during all of this. He's not particularly angry about his circumstances. He's not even angry at the people in his life who turn out to be nothing what they've pretended to for years. Sam doesn't hold a grudge. He just keeps making notes for writing his own arsonist's guide, chalks it up to experience and moves on. That's a pretty powerful message.
- If you've read the book you know what happens to Sam at the end. I'm still struggling with his calmness and acceptance during all his transition at the end of the book. Perhaps he did what he did as a conscious choice, deciding life would be easier away from all the people in his life. The adults were certainly a little difficult, but what about his children? How could he justify spending time away from them since they were the only people in his life who had never tried to hurt him or pretend to be someone they weren't?

Overall, I really loved this book. It's completely different than anything I've read in a long time. Have you read it? What did you think?

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