Thursday, June 25, 2009

Corpus Christi by Bret Anthony Johnston

This was a pretty underwhelming book. I had read reviews that said “What a great first book!” or “Can you believe he used to be a professional skater?!?!”

As a matter of fact, I can. I think it’s a little more astonishing that he is a professor of creative writing at Harvard. Was it well written? Yes. Did he accomplish the task, a difficult one in my opinion, of composing just the right amount of a story within the “short story” length? I suppose.

I think what really bothered me was the content. Too many were just bullshit tear jerkers. The most prominent story is simply a description of a mother and her son as she slowly dies from cancer. Maybe that is more appealing subject matter for some, but I think it’s something that is universally acknowledged to be awful, and I don’t really think that it was described in any groundbreaking way. It’s a difficult process for the son as he watches his mother die, the mother feels guilty for imposing on the son, neither one of them can do a fucking thing about it. It sucks. It makes you cry because you think about what if my own mother died of cancer. Wouldn't that just really, really suck?

Of course it would, and I don’t need to read a book by this guy to know that. Neither is it something that I feel like this book helped me explore in any meaningful way. It pretty much made me feel exploited and anxious to finish the book so I could read something more provocative.

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