Book Note: My Revolutions

I have a fondness for a certain brand of Spanish spiral notebooks.  Miquelrius.  The 8.5 x 11 size, mainly, but sometimes smaller.  Not the Agatha Ruiz de la Prada ones, mainly black or translucent solid colors, but on occasion, stripes or patterns.

I try to keep my craving for new ones under control, but in truth, I have so many in reserve right now that I cannot fit anything else into the second desk drawer.

Perhaps this dark habit of mine explains why I was so drawn in by this passage on page 2:

How will she cope?  I wish I could feel optimistic, but Miranda isn’t a person who deals well with the world’s unpredictability.  She’s always fought hard against randomness, with all the weapons in the stationer’s: a little arsenal of agendas and diaries and wall-planners dotted with colored stars.  Poor Miranda, no amount of Post-its will ward off what’s about to happen to you.  You’re utterly unprepared.

I selected this book under pressure – errands to run, but I wanted one more book, and I’ve always been a sucker for the raised fist.  I’m glad the library stocked this version of the cover, as other versions I’ve seen on the web would not have gotten my attention in the same way.

My_Revolutions_Hari_Kunzru

After the last 2 reads, neither of which contained a single passage even remotely worth re-reading or reading out loud, I wallowed in Hari Kunzru’s writing.  His words told the story not only by what they said, but how they felt.  Here’s another bit – don’t worry, it is from page 3, so I’m giving away nothing:

The stairs creak as I climb up to the bedroom.  I have to duck my head to go through the door.  I’ve never found the low ceilings and narrow corridors of country cottages quaint, at least not straightforwardly.  They’re scaled to the small stature of poorly nourished people; an architecture of hardship and deprivation.

My Revolutions falls into two categories for me: highly fictionalized stories of people late in life forced to come to terms with their revolutionary past, and books & movies about heroin addicts.

The heroin has only a minor role in this book, but it reminded me of reading The Drifters, by James A. Michener, back in fifth grade.  I absolutely ached to know if I would grow up fast enough to visit Torremolinos, and I was desolate that my parents had not named me Monica, a name I’d not yet encountered but rolled around in my mouth like chocolate marbles.

The short review?  Radical turned terrorist turned fugitive turned in at long last.  That’s the thing about throwing bombs.  Eventually, someone throws one back.

I appreciate that the author included simply a 2-page historical note at the end of the book, very discreet, that merely alerted me to the fact if I cared to know that the story was based to some extent on stories and actions of the Angry Brigade in the UK in the late 60s/early 70s.  You could use this historical note to find out more, but the story feels very complete on its own.  A lovely book that made my heart a little sad.

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