Thursday, November 19, 2009
Fire Sale and a ghostly happening
I enjoyed Fire Sale a lot more than I expected. I am not a literary snob by any means, but I am not a big fan of mystery novels. I stopped reading this type of stuff when I was about a freshman in high school, because I find that it is so formulaic that it's not all that enjoyable. When I started Fire Sale, I was less than enthusiastic, but I found that I enjoyed Paretsky more than other series mystery writers. She doesn't water down her language to the point that it seems insulting to the reader; she is pretty direct and honest with her prose style. I also was really surprised at just how liberal she is. While I expected a little leftist undertones, the blatent attack on stuck up conservatives and big box companies was very appealing to me. I enjoyed her hatred for the greed in the modern American economy, and her political points were very strong and pretty cool. Finally, I appreciated the Chicago setting. I'm from the west side of the city and that's where I am most familiar with, but I enjoyed the city markers either way, and I loved her portrayal of the neighborhoods, as well as the way that she was sure to show how hardworking the people are. I used to volunteer at a school similar to the one in the novel, and I have very similar sentiments to Paretsky's on the conditions of the children and adults in the neighborhoods people generally don't like. In my experience, while there are, of course, drug dealers and gang bangers and thugs in the hood, there are mainly people who are forced to work obnoxious amounts of time for meager wages. From the people I know, the reason they become drug dealers and gang bangers in the first place is because it's impossible to feed a family and make rent on $8/hr. I have a million reasons behind that, but Paretsky does a good job of covering the lack of privilege found in many of these neighborhoods. So...on an entirely different note, I was at my library job the other day and we had a ghostly happening. Apparently, I work at a haunted library, which is built where there used to be an apartment building. We don't know what the story behind the building before us is, but we're all researching, because last night was ultra spooky. We were closing, and when we went upstairs to the children's department, all the chairs were pulled out from the computers, and several of the computers were turning themselves on. We had just finished closing all of them, and were going back up to bring the last of the stuff to be reshelved, and to turn off the lights. Apparently this is not the first spooky happening here, and they all involve children. So I'll keep you posted on the ghostly library. Hopefully we'll find some great story to accompany the hauntings.