Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Helprin, Mark (Freddy and Fredericka)

After the joy of listening to the Harry Potter audiobooks, I needed something new and asked the tweet-world what I should read next. This was the sole recommendation. (Really? Do you all just not listen to audiobooks or have you all been disappointed by everything you've listened to lately?)

This is odd. A more appropriate word doesn't exist. It's a fictionalized tale of Princess Diana and Prince Charles, replete with parachute jumping, speed-reading dentistry texts, the inner workings of a bike gang, and falcons. If you have a better word for this, let me know, I'd love to hear it.

It is often very funny, but in a sad, sorry sort of way. The humor is meant to describe and explain the most ridiculous facets of both British and American life, but American society gets the greater share. Fortunately, this is interspersed with gorgeous descriptive passages about our continent's natural beauty, to take the edge off.

I just couldn't figure out what to take away from it: societies can learn from each other? we're all teetering on the edge of rapid decline? we should pity royalty and assume they're all very smart? I could use some help here.

1 comment:

lydia said...

i still do my reading the old-fashioned way. but i have a couple of suggestions along the harry-potter line:

1. pretty sure this one came to me as a rec from a friend who did hear it as an audiobook. this is the first of a series:
Artemis Fowl / Eoin Colfer.

2. no idea re: audio versions, but there at least oughtta be. again, first of (i think) three:
The Amulet of Samarkand / Jonathan Stroud.