Monday, 30 January 2012

The Last Nude

Around the World in 52 Books Challenge:  6/52 (France)

The Last Nude, by Ellis Avery

My Goodread's Review

3 out of 5 stars


This book was not my original choice for France.  It was a book I chose for my personal challenge to read a new release each month in 2012. When I started reading this book, I realized that it could also count for the Around the World in 52 Books Challenge.  I'm all about double dipping and making one book count for more than one challenge, so I broke my own rules and swapped out the original selection.  Now that I've clarified that - onwards and upwards.

I'm stumped.  I don't know what kind of a commentary I can write about this book.  I am not an art intellectual, for lack of a better word.  I  know what I like, but I don't understand a lot of it.  I went to  Tamara de Lempicka's website and looked at her paintings.  There are some that I really like.  But ask me about composition or any of that stuff and I'll give you the deer-in-the-headlights stare.  Give me a quilt, on the other hand, and I could happily and obsessively discuss the techniques involved. 

So much for discussing art as a commentary.

I could discuss the total irrelevance of the publisher's write up to the actual story.  Ahh - nah! 

Have I ever told you how much I hate writing book reviews and commentaries?  I remember having to write the dreaded book review in school.  I never did get great marks on them.  If the teacher taught us how to dissect a story and observe the inner machinations of it, I was probably daydreaming during it. 

The only thing I remember being dissected in school was a badger and the boys dragging its entrails around the ball diamond where they had dissected it.  It was in health class.  We had segregated health classes back in those days.  The girls talked about menstruation while the boys went out to the ball diamond and did fun things, like dissecting critters.

But I have digressed.  I was talking about writing book reviews.  The teacher would ask us to write our opinion of the book.  Often my opinion was marked as incorrect.  How can my opinion be incorrect?   Maybe my opinion doesn't agree with what is commonly accepted.  That doesn't make it wrong.  It makes me an individual.

Perhaps that's why I never did like poetry, except for my own.  I recall a teacher asking, "What does green symbolize in this poem?"  Sheesh!  Green could symbolize almost anything.  Let's try a few of them on for size. 
  • Inexperienced as in a green rookie on his first day at work. 
  • Money
  • Colour
  • Alive or fresh, as in a green branch of a tree
  • Envy
Are those the usual connotations of green? Did I get them all? I have always believed that symbolism is as personal as the person interpretting the symbol.  Green, to me could conjour up the memories of the grass stains on my jeans from the first time I got drunk.  The culprit was Lamb's Dark Navy Rum.  Needless to say, I don't drink rum anymore.  If I was to write a poem and reference "green knees", who would get the connection?  It certainly wouldn't be my grade 10 English teacher.

Okay, so maybe I didn't get good marks based on my writing skills and not my opinion.  And maybe the symbolism of green could be determined in the context of the poem.  I'll concede those points.  But I still don't like writing book reviews.

It's midnight and time to think about going to bed.  I think I've blathered on enough tonight.  Perhaps I should change my blog name to "She Blathers".   I'll sleep on it.

One of my blogging friends always ends his entries with "Thanks for reading." I think that's a nice sentiment.  If you've gotten this far and haven't given up on me being a lost cause, thanks for reading!


  1. Dude, you're pushing yourself pretty hard. Too many book rules!:)

    1. I know. At our last book club meeting, I started a comment, "I'm...." and my friend finished it for me. "Anal!" she said.

  2. ...but why only 3 stars? I'm thinking about reading this one, too.

    1. It started out rather bland and I was just about to give up when it started to get interesting. But once the narrator shifted, it dragged down again. I though the character development wasn't very good.

  3. I would get Cs on my "book summaries" in 3rd grade, an otherwise straight-A student. It took me years to get over the angst of that memory and just to write what I felt like saying about a book - impressions, quotations - just don't sweat it. :)