Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Has Anybody Read Norman Mailer's "Ancient Evenings"?

"...and I believe...that the borders of our mind are ever shifting, and that many minds can flow into one another, as it were, and create or reveal a single mind, a single energy...and that our memories are part of one great memory, the memory of Nature herself." ~ W.B. Yeats

Has anybody read this book? I bought it a while back. According to the cover it is 'The National Bestseller'. Circa 1983. The above quote is part of an excerpt at the beginning that is attributed to W.B. Yeats in "Ideas of Good and Evil". It called to me so I bought it.

But daaaang. I read five or six chapters and still don't know who the mc is, whether he is dead or alive, and who all the people, dead and alive are that he keeps talking about.

If you've read it, should I pick it back up and slog on? Is Mr. Mailer going to make it worth my while? Or should I leave this on the dead pile?

On to picture #2.

This was taken at the top of the pass on Hwy 129. The Appalachian Trail crosses here, just 30 miles north of the southern terminus and a mere twenty-five miles from my cabin. This is my current favorite weekend jaunt.

We're going to 'raft' down the Chestatee River this Saturday. No whitewater, just a nice lazy float on a hot day.

Picture #3.

Sweet William peeking through the log fence at Walasyi-Yi.

Picture #4

Black-Eyed Susans dancing on the side of the road, somewhere on my meanderings.

Picture #5

A fern coming to life after losing all it's fronds. Not sure if it got too much sun, not enough water, or too much water. But thank goodness Nature is forgiving.

That's all. I just felt the need to share a little beauty.

And to get your opinion on "Ancient Evenings".

Hope you had a glorious day. I'm still hatching a new story so no writing (or much of anything else) is getting done at my house.

~Olivia J. Herrell


Nicole said...

can't comment on the book but love the pics of flowers :) I've read about some of them before *grin*

Jules said...

I had to comment because of "Norman". He is Ms Twister's standard author answer when we play Trivia and no I have not read the book.

Love the photos, I'm planning a trip to GA in September.
Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Jemi Fraser said...

Haven't read the Mailer book so can't help there, but if you don't know if the mc is dead or alive... probably not a good sign. :)

Love the photos - so pretty!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Nicole, you're too funny. If you haven't actually met these flowers in person, let me invite you to North Georgia for a proper introduction. They're even prettier in person. :)

Jules, Ms Twister always answers Norman Mailer? Too funny. When in September and where in Georgia? If you're within a couple hours drive I'd love to meet for tea/coffee!

Jemi, I know, huh. I'm pretty sure he died but is no longer dead and is now wandering the catacombs commenting on all these dead people. Maybe I'll flashforward ahead and see if it starts making sense. I'm so glad you liked the pics.


Terry Stonecrop said...

I tried to read it a couple of years ago. Yeah, tried, failed. Maybe I'll pick it up agian one day. Sometimess the second time is the charm:)

A.T. Post said...

Sweet William is BEEEEEA-utiful. Thanks for sharing.

Keep reading. You should never quit halfway through and relegate it to the dead pile, even if it was written by Al Gore. Persevere and see if it redeems itself. The title alone is enough to intrigue me. I've read some pretty good books that started pretty slow.

Marvelous post, as usual!

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Terry, so I'm in good company, thank you!

Postman, you're welcome. And you're right of course. I just don't have much patience these days and need a payoff pretty quick to keep going. But now that you've made me feel guil-ty, lol...


Roland D. Yeomans said...

From the reviews of ANCIENT EVENINGS by non-critics, it seems to be as padded and confusing as THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin. (Which was highly praised by the critics but panned by the average joe on the streets who just wanted an entertaining read.)

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Roland, I found a NY Times review and that dude didn't like it either. At least I did find out about the live/dead part. Apparently it is a soul hanging out waiting to reincarnate or something. Unfortunately the soul wasn't entertaining. Go figure. :)


dolorah said...

What a lovely post. Sounded like a nice, leisurely day. I had a great time walking through the flowers, letting myself fantasize.

Just what I needed; thank you.


Alison Pearce Stevens said...

Hi Olivia, I haven't read the book, so I can't help you there.

I love the photos. It's been ages since I was anywhere near the Appalachian Trail, and I'd forgotten how beautiful it is. Thanks for the reminder.

Thanks for your comment at my blog. I'm touched. :) Alison

The Words Crafter said...

Haven't read the book, but, from what I have read of review of his other books, it's probably an 'eh' kind of read. Did that make sense? The photos are beautiful, thanks for sharing them (love purple flowers). I've been rafting twice, down the Nantahala. The first time was a breeze. The second time, with a group of mostly the same people, I was the only sober person. We tipped over, nearly lost the rented oars, I fell in wearing contacts...all in the only deep place in the whole rafting area. But it was still a blast. I believe you'll have a wonderful time!

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