Re: The March - Part 2 (pages 137 - 174)
AnnetteS quotes the book: Feeling something bumping into his side, he turned and found a detached head, bearded and blue-eyed, its expression one of wounded dignity, and with strings of integument and vein trailing from it's neck. For a hideous moment, before he could push it away, Walsh felt it was appealing to him as if, given even this experience, life could seem still desirable.
I remember reading this passage. It reminded me of the closing lines in Stanley Kubrick's film "Full Metal Jacket". Private Joker says something along the lines of, "The dead know only one thing, that it is better to be alive."Yes, I know it is masterful, it's just not my cup of tea or what I'd like to be reading now.
I watched Stephen Speilberg's recent adaptation of "The War of the Worlds" the other night, and the thought occurred to me that Doctorow writes much like Speilberg directs. That isn't a slight, by any means. Speilberg gets a lot of flack among cinephiles for being something of a mainstream hack, but I think he's a very sophisticated form of mainstream. And I'd say that's about where Doctorow falls. Aside from some novel touches here and there, he doesn't do much to really jar your perceptions, and he's good at developing themes that are fairly common in our culture. His prose is appealing if not astouding and he draws characters that are more or less immediately recognizable.
I enjoyed this author's "World's Fair". In that book, he handled sex very naturally and realistically: young boys mesmorized by it, women "loose" due to economic circumstances, for instance.I have a wonderful link to many major papers whose columnists reviewed this book.
Post it. I'd be interested to read what they thought. In fact, put it in a new thread, and we can discuss which ones we thought were most insightful and which ones get it totally wrong.