Monday, June 06, 2005

In Watermelon Sugar

One of the advantages to emerge from being both sick and at my parents' house this weekend was the chance to unearth some of the paperback books my dad must have enjoyed when he was not far from my own age. This afternoon, I sat out on the deck, wrapped in blankets in the manner of the sanatorium inmates in The Magic Mountain, and read Richard Brautigan's In Watermelon Sugar, a work of confusing but nonetheless astonishing beauty. Its basic premise - a world where the sun shines a different color each day as the stage for a simple fable of love and betrayal - almost caused me to dismiss the book out of hand. Indeed, there is a general miasma of wackness about it - at the rational level. However, I am always hoping to be moved irrationally, and this one did the trick. Eight hours later, I still feel elsewhere, and although I rarely issue such a dictum, I say, to the three of you who are likely to read this, go out and get a copy post-haste. You will be both a sadder and happier person as a result.


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