Monday, September 29, 2008

Miranda & Jonas

For those days, times when one (me, you and everyone we know) feels like a round ball trying to fit in a square hole I take comfort in books. And no it's never those IMHO pathetic self-help new agey kind of books. It can however be a certain kind of harmless, easy read books that will just allow your mind to rest and dreams to float freely and without night labour.

It can also be a inspirational, imagination stirring and more than well written, all absorbing brick novel that takes my mind of the round-square scenario.

Then we have the borderline weird novel, well written, imagination stirring for sure, but somehow most of all in all its quirkiness oddly comforting. Comforting as in you realize that neither are you at all as figuratively round as you might feel at times nor as alone in that roundness.

And it's in this latter category of books one find both Miranda and Jonas, as in Miranda July - the maker of that wonderfully odd movie "You and Me and Everyone We Know" - and Swedish writer Jonas Gardell.

The latest book by Gardell I've finished was actually his third and first published in 1987, Präriehundarna (The Prairiedogs). But it has surely aged well, still sadly current. All the crackpots in this world who have gone crazy to endure life. Who solve their problems each in their own weird way, who join different associations and fellowships just so they won't feel lonely anymore.

It is pretty much as heart cleanchingly sad and pathetic as it sounds, and these are the people we see on the bus, the train, in our local supermarket, could be me, could be you, could be... Myself I do ponder a lot about the peculiar being called human and its (more than) odd behaviour at times - I've also been *blessed* with a few neighbourhood crackpots that keep me busy in the musing department those times I lack inputs from the world outside my own little block. Sadly I don't think I'd be able to compile those thoughts into as poignantly put words like (t)his. But I keep mulling.

July's book "No one belongs here more than you." is an award winning collection of 16 short stories, some infinitely more weird than the other, but all rather ambiguously captivating. Ingenious stories of different lengths about humans' oddities and outsiders possibly looking in. Of these 16 well written short stories, all easy to read though far from easy to always really grasp, I got six favourites. Mind boggingly quirky favourites that made me laugh, giggle and feeling so very, very sad. All enclosed in a befittingly shocking pink book cover (yes of course I went for the pink version). Not for the faint at heart.

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