Titles of the first post of each month:
January - 2 End of Year Memes
February - Manics
March - Job Interview
April - RAW and Wrestlema XXVII blathering
May - RL, fic writing, fic
June - Semi-related to the previous post
July - Book Meme Day 2
August - A few more random Tour de France thoughts
September - Rugby
October - Stuff
November - The Much Delayed Book Meme
December - Signs of the Apocalypse
It's actually a reasonably good overview of the year. My brain was taken over by the Tour for a month, and the rugby for a span. And, given that it's a 30 day meme that the book meme gets mentioned in two months with a three month gap, it is, I believe, thoroughly delayed.
Discussing the book meme:Day 20 - Favourite
romance book where the romantic aspects are important
The reason for the change is that I don't read romance novels. Nothing against them, I don't read horror or mainstream fiction either, but it did mean that my answer would be pointless.
I've changed it to 'book where the romantic aspects are important' because it gives me an excuse to talk about 'Maurice' by E. M. Foster. Which is one of my favourite books.
It's not entirely because of the main character, who shall henceforth be Hall because that's what he's called in the book. Hall is a remarkably successful attempt at creating a non-descript lead character. Normally this kind of thing fails for one of two reasons:
1 - the character turns out not to be so every day ordinary after all
2 - the damn thing is so boring the reader gives up
but 'Maurice' succeeds because Hall's struggles to be normal are vivid. And that's all he wants. He wants to be the big man of the house that his mother wants him to be, and the man of business they need him to be, or the man in general society expects him to be. And he's not any of those. That's the central struggle.
And Hall fails, constantly. He doesn't save himself. If it hadn't been for an absolutely chance encounter Maurice would have spent his life in a sort of eternal existensial struggle, or as close to existensial as Hall is capable of.spoilers (highlight to read)
It's love that saves him. There's a fantastic passage in chapter forty-five, almost hallucinatory in it's intensity where it's made quite clear it is the saving of Maurice, from society, from religious harrasment, that happens when Alec doesn't take the boat.
It's an odd little book, in many ways. I say little, it being 200 pages in the 1975 Penguin edition I have, but it skips by quickly. It's odd because even by the time it was written it was set in a long gone world, destroyed by WWI.
I recommend reading the Author's terminal notes for the background, which doesn't add or take away from the story itself, but adds some explanation for the world it's set in and for it's intent. I think the intent is very important.
Foster's own final comments, that it's contrived, and that people can't save each other like that, are probably correct, but I don't care, because I want the characters to have a happy ending and, for once, they get it.( The Other Days )