I’ve been keeping my brain filled up on books, but I’ve been slacking in my intentions to give my thoughts on them. My two most recent excursions have been A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, and Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins.

A Confederacy of Dunces was a bit of a rough read, not because it was bad or anything. On the contrary, the dialog brought its characters to life in impressively distinct and colorful ways. It’s just that most of the characters are so dreadful and hate-able that it’s hard to endure their presence for very long. I kept thinking “if these people don’t each get theirs in the end, I’m going to be really upset.”

Fortunately, I was not upset! The ending wrapped things up in the most pleasing way it could, and I was satisfied. However, I don’t think I’d go on that adventure a second time.

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates, on the other hand, I enjoyed very much from start to finish. Tom Robbins has a way of pouring out words in buckets, and my brain had a way of lapping it all up into order. It’s strange, too, because some wordy authors I don’t like at all, I just read too quickly and get tangled up in the words. With Robbins, though, everything synched up, and I ended up being delighted by his wordiness. Not to mention the fact that the story was engaging and the characters all felt real.

It was also fun because Josh, who lent it to me, had written notes in the margins and underlined phrases throughout. I love it when that happens in books, because it makes me feel like I’m spying on the inside of someone’s brain.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a new book to read, I’d highly recommend the Robbins book, but approach A Confederacy of Dunces at your own risk.