Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Well, That Was Interesting

I was planning to do a Life As We Knew It post today because recently I received a couple of announcements through listservs regarding blogs that coincidentally both talk about the book.

And then while perusing those blogs, I found something really interesting.

Susan Beth Pfeffer has a blog up called Meteors, Moons, and Me. So far it's pretty much about her book, Life As We Knew It, which, of course, is what you'd expect from the blog's title. While reading through her posts, I noticed one with a reference to a less than stellar review that involved rice.

Also The Inter-Galactic Playground, which focuses on children's science fiction, went quiet for a bit but is back with new posts. Last Sunday, the site reviewed Life As We Knew It. As it turns out, the review isn't wildly complimentary, and early on the reviewer mentions...rice!

What are the chances I'd stumble upon all that? I ask you.

LAWKI was on my mind today because it's been rather cool here in southern New England recently. In fact, this evening it's very close to being cold. I was out on the deck trying to plant some parsley and wondering if all our plants will be destroyed because of this creepy weather the way the family's plants were destroyed in LAWKI.

As Farah at The Inter-galactic Playground suggests, I could just bring all the pots from the deck indoors before they're ruined. But...nah.


Miriam said...

Thanks for posting that link! I read Susan's post about that review and tried to hunt for it, but I was unsuccessful. Boy, she really didn't much like it, did she? I understand what she's saying, and to a point, I can agree. I know it bothered me that Mom was focused solely on her own family's survival. I understood that focus, but it made me like her less. But I wonder if the reviewer's back might not be up a bit in part because she doesn't live in the U.S. (from what I gather). Sorry, I can't agree with her on that point. The book is that much more effective because of the claustrophobic element that their isolation provides. Besides, how would the family have any way of knowing what is happening in the rest of world? They have no radio, no TV, no phones, no newspapers. They're fighting for their own survival. I can't fault them for neither knowing nor worrying about what's happening in Vancouver, London, Moscow, and Beijing.

Gail Gauthier said...

My gut feeling about the review was that perhaps the book offended the reviewer's moral and political code. Which is fine. As a writer, I can accept a reader feeling that way about my work.

I thought it was an interesting review because LAWKI was very well liked in most of the reviews I saw. I enjoyed considering another point of view.

Regarding the mother, I agree she was focused solely on her family's survival, and it was ugly. But why shouldn't something ugly be covered in a novel? Her desperate attempts to ensure the survival of at least one of her children (which I interpret as a primal desire to survive in the gene pool) wasn't pretty but it was thought provoking. And, in the end, her selfish behavior saved her family.

I don't think we're supposed to take away some kind of lesson or model of behavior from that.