Saturday, September 27, 2008

The end of Summer Classics.

Summer is over, so here's my final update on my Summer Classics:

I read Rabbit, Run by John Updike, which is not exactly a classic you would read in high school, but a well-known book nonetheless. (Full disclosure: While I know that Updike is supposed to be one of the best modern American writers, I never heard of the book until this summer when I was browsing through a bookstore. It is part of a series of four books--the last two won the Pulitzer Prize, so yeah, apparently a classic.) Out of all the books I read this summer, this one was my favorite. It's kind of a crazy story about a 26-year-old man nicknamed Rabbit who used to be a high school basketball star, and is now stuck in the suburban trap: a wife he doesn't like, a kid with one on the way, a stupid job. And he can't deal with it anymore and so one day he just gets up and runs away. Hasn't everyone experienced a moment where they feel, life sucks, I want to run away? (Well, I've been there.) Rabbit is the type of character that makes you want to smack him on the side of the head, but I totally got where he was coming from at times. I just got book two from the library.

Inspired by my Philadelphia trip, my final classic movie choice was Rocky. I thought I had seen parts of Rocky on TV but I found out that was not true. The characters a little sad and darker than I imagined. Running up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Musuem: Awesome. The scene at the ending with Rocky and Adrian yelling each other's name: pure cheese. I mean, what can I say about Rocky?

I totally wimped out in the classic music department. Yes, I did listen to the top five albums on Rolling Stone's 500 Great Albums of All Time--but I already own and have been big fans of four of them, so I wasn't exactly exploring new music. (#1: The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, #2: The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, #3 The Beatles' Revolver, #5 The Beatles' Rubber Soul). The #4 album, Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, I owned for a few years but never got into. Dan, who is a big Dylan fan, and I sat down for a listening party one night. To show me how far ahead Dylan was of his time, Dan played me songs that were popular at the time first. And then we listened to Dylan who was just so different lyrically and in sound. I still think a lot of his songs sound the same and it's not a sound I particularly like, but I did come to appreciate his talent more after our listening session.

And that concludes my summer classics. I am really sad that summer is over.

1 comment:

Brian said...

I meant to tell you about something I saw in Men's Health last month, in a section called "13 Things a Man Should Never Fear:"
3. Black-and-White Movies
Dropping an All About Eve reference may elicit blank stares, but knowledge of this genre makes you a person of intrigue. Besides, you'll learn a lot more about moving through the world from Cary Grant than from Spike TV.