wazza (damnsonyouhigh) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Books 22 and 23

Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson

This is a collection of short stories, all in which the narrator (it's the same guy every time) shares some experiences he had while he was under the influence of either drugs, alcohol, or both. They're all told in the first-person perspective, and the style in which they're told is supposed to give you the impression that the narrator is high as he's telling you the things he did.

I personally found all these stories to be extremely boring. Not only that, but they didn't even seem like actual stories, more like random anecdotes with no real point to them and no direction. The different events that are included in each story are hard to connect, and they seem randomly put together. It's obvious that this book is trying to get across one big "Don't Smoke, Don't Do Drugs" message to its readers, but you'll be left wondering why certain things happen in each story (they seem very randomly constructed) and you'll be scratching your head as to what the overall goal of each story is.

I give it a 3/10.

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid

This is an 82-page essay, which reads more like a rant. The topic is the crappy quality of life in Jamaica Kincaid's native country, the small island of Antigua, and why it's All Your Fault that your white ancestors (she seems to think that everyone who will read this book is a white American or European) made slaves out of her ancestors and made her country what it is today. Instead of explaining the topic with the intention to really open the eyes of readers who are ignorant about the things she talks about, she instead chooses to assume that you, the reader, are automatically white, automatically a racist, automatically rich, and that you don't really care about what she's talking about. Right off that bat, you are alienated, because the entire tone of this essay is extremely accusatory and condescending.

It's an easy read and if you get past Kincaid's obvious mission to make you feel like a horrible human being, you may actually learn something about her country and find some interest in the topic.

Overall 2/10

Tags: essays, short stories

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