There’s nothing I love more than a good physical deformity. Thalidomide babies (otherwise known as flipper babies), good old fashioned amputees, the Elephant Man (whose official diagnosis was neurofibromatosis type 1), good old fashioned extra limbs, and so on and so forth. I’m a little bummed that Western medicine has significantly decreased the number of birth defects, and I’m extremely bummed that our state of political correctness has prevented the expansion of traveling freak shows.
Mae narrates this place, like the Waltons without a baker’s dozen crumbsnatchers to navigate. Dad has bought the local school, for a cool $1k, and rents it out. The town sounds like, if it were at a low enough elevation, could be flooded to make way for a resevoir.
I was reading this stuff throughout my childhood and into adolescence, and so by the time I got to high school, I had a serious attitude problem, especially when it came to lit classes. They’re making us read Hawthorne and I’m wondering where the hell are the proton beam deflectors!
The narrator’s husband is named Wood, which seems almost intentionally funny, and Ms. Bergman once again gives readers a kind of relationship insider gossip, and captures what it feels like to have a partner that cares more about himself than his unborn child. But is it real until it’s real?
The opening of 1Q84 grabbed me immediately. A businesswoman is trapped in a taxi in gridlock on an elevated expressway. She will be late for an important appointment. We wonder what kind of an appointment it is. I have been tempted to ditch a gridlocked cab in the middle of the street to make my appointment. But I’ve never been tempted to climb down a service ladder to the street below.
“At first, it is so quiet my teeth hurt.” This line falls somewhere in the middle of this first story, and comes while our motherly narrator is standing in her childhood home, after she’s broken in. She wants to show her son around, as they are on a trip to find a bird that was once a pet of our narrators mother, as the bird sounds just like her.