Friday, August 18, 2006

Thank Goodness This Book Is No Longer Required Reading

I'm almost certain I've read Lost In Place: Growing Up Absurd In Suburbia by Mark Salzman and forgotten about it. Fortunately, the book was brought to mind because it made the news when the high school in Brookfield, Connecticut removed it from its One Book One School program because "the language is filthy."

The title is what stands out in my mind. I was interested in the "growing up absurd in suburbia" part. I remember nothing about the author being interested in Zen and martial arts. Now I want to read the book again because I'm interested in those things, too. And, of course, the filthy language is a real draw, too.

I'm off to the library tomorrow to get this thing. This makes me wonder how many books that are banned by schools are later read by adults who would never have heard of them.

Bizarrely enough, I think I've read one of Salzman's other books, too, The Soloist. A School Library Journal review at Amazon describes it as YA, by the way.

5 comments:

Fuck You Google said...

You know, that's not suprising.

When I was in high school, one of the required readings got petitioned by the parents, because it was like a porno. AND the language was filthy.

I mean who's in charge of these choices?

It just kinda makes you think about things.

gail said...

I'm looking forward to checking out just how filthy the language is. If I have already read the book, the "filth" didn't make much of an impression on me.

grrlpup said...

Lost in Place is one of my favorite books ever. The family dynamics, the way he throws himself at his passions with complete ignorance and enthusiasm, the humiliation and how he goes back for more, I love it all! But it doesn't strike me as YA at all; I think it needs a looking-back perspective. And making it required reading is all wrong, for the same reason that making Catcher in the Rye required reading misses the whole point.

I don't remember any filthy language, but I don't usually notice that stuff.

gail said...

I did pick it up at the library today. I recognize the cover and am sure I've read it. I just dont' remember anything about it. I'll report back in a few weeks when I've had a chance to read it.

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