You can’t swing a dick without reading heaped praise for Colm Tóibín’s novel Brooklyn and the film adaptation, so I settled in for a tale of immigration, alienation and love in 1950’s America …
Beginning in 1950’s Ireland, the novel follows the blah and spineless Eilis through her voyage to the United States (her mother and glamorous older sister decided she must go to America, so, eh she does…), where she is handed a job, enrolled in evening classes, set up with lodging at a boarding house, meets and is courted by an Italian American man, etc.
Sweet, huh? Does she appreciate or make the most of these amazing opportunities? Nope.
A passenger in her own life, Eilis doesn’t really make any decisions on her own until the end of the novel, and even that was basically for lack of viable alternatives.
I could not get passed the desire to shake Eilis to wake her up, she was so one-dimensional and passive throughout the whole story.
We are teased with potentially tantalizing characters and plot threads:
- A priest manages to secure her a passage, work status and job but how? And, more importantly… why?!
- A brilliant professor who is possibly a Holocaust survivor
- Her unpleasant landlady and her bitchy former boss
- An Italian boyfriend who looks suspiciously unlike the rest of his family
Sadly, these aren’t fleshed out into anything that would risk doing more than pique your interest… and then disappoint.
The “twist” arrives at the end of the novel when Eilis realizes she has a huge choice to make: a proper “head or heart” dilemma which could see her return permanently to her parish in Ireland OR committing to a lifetime in America… sadly, it all comes too late for me to give a shite about a character I longed to throttle for 270-odd pages.
Don’t believe the hype, lads. I’ve been told that it works better as a film, but I won’t be beating a path to the cinema to see this.
Does something ever catch you unawares? A song you’ve heard a million times, a book you’ve read to death, a photo you’ve looked at every day… one day you hear/read/see it in a different light and it changes.
I was walking to work this morning and “Are ‘Friends’ Electric” by Gary Numan came on the radio and Jaysis, the feels!
This verse hit me as so sad, so tragic and real.
“So I found out your reasons
For the phone calls and smiles
And it hurts
And I’m lonely
And I should never have tried
And I missed you tonight
It must be time to leave
You see it meant everything to me”
I went through a friendship break-up around this time last year, and it’s been on my mind lately, so this was so poignant. Mff.
My lovely husband (eek!) and I went on honeymoon to Las Vegas at the start of November and it was the trip of a lifetime.
Totally worth the long-ass flight and all the hassle that air travel entails, Vegas is a kooky, wired and weird experience.
Even though our body-clocks never quite settled on a time zone (we settled somewhere between Dublin and Vegas time), waking up at 5am/1pm and going to bed at around 10pm/8am, it really didn’t matter. Forget New York, Vegas is the city that never sleeps, man. 🙂
I hate to play favourites, but the highlights of the trip for me were visiting the Neon Museum and taking a day to explore the Downtown area.
- “Vegas Vic”
- Hunter S Thompson street art
- Downtown Las Vegas sign
Now, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but here are a few photos of our trip, nothing incriminating, sorry!
- New York New York, with the roller-coaster outside
- Barry and I posing in the uber fancy Bellagio lobby
- Just chilling with my zombies at the Zombie Apocalypse store
- A view from the top of the “Eiffel Tower” of the strip, phone quality, soz.
- One of the amazing neon signs from our tour of the Neon Museum, definitely one of the highlights of the trip.
Have you been to Vegas? Are you planning a trip? Will you bring me back???
Happy Friday, everyone.