Louis Riel: A Comic-Strip Biography by Chester Brown
In grade four or whenever little Canadians start learning depressing historical lessons of oppression, our teacher told us that 75% of Canadians over a certain age (I can't remember, perhaps the age of twenty, perhaps twenty five, perhaps 20% of Canadians over the age of 75, it's hard to recall specifics) did not know who Louis Riel was. All of us ten year olds who had just read six whole pages about Riel in our textbooks were appalled. "There are Canadians who don't know who Louis Riel is? Horrific" we shuddered. After all, Canada became a dominion in 1867, we don't really have that much history to forget about and y'know, how do they not know who Riel is? Even us ten year olds knew and we would remember for at least a few months.
So as soon as exams ended I started looking through my library holds. The beautiful thing about the public library is that you can make a list of hundreds of holds and keep them "inactive" and then as soon as you feel like reading one, you make it "active" and since you've had it on hold for so long you're now at the head of the hold line of over a hundred people (yeah, I'm looking at you, Hunger Games). So I made Louis Riel active and realized "I kind of know who he is. He was Metis, he spoke French, he started a rebellion against something and then he was killed".
After reading this biography, I feel like a whole lotta Louis Riel was left out of elementary history class. All of that Christian prophet stuff, I do not remember at all and honestly, after reading the book I saw Kate Beaton's comic strip about it and I feel exactly the same way. If Gabriel Dumont led the rebellion, that would have been an entirely different rebellion. Comic book wise, it was really good. It was interesting and informative and kind of made me hate John A. McDonalds. So uh, Bravo Brown?
Nine and a Half Weeks by Elizabeth McNeill
I haven't seen the movie. I have it somewhere because young Mickey Rourke is in it (be still my heart), but I haven't actually watched it yet. As soon as I find out that a movie is based on a book, I can't watch it until I read the book. It's just a thing that shouldn't be done (unless of course it is a book that I would never want to read, a.k.a. Ginnifer Goodwin and Kate Hudson?, yes I will see the negatively reviewed Something Borrowed, but no no no on the novel).
I don't think I could ever read Nine and a Half Week again. I don't gravitate towards upsetting books and so I can't really compare it to others, but the only other books that made me feel so physically nauseous were Let The Right One In and Blindness. I knew it was about a sadomasochistic relationship, but I guess I didn't realize the extreme to which those relationships can go. It's interesting, it's well written, it draws you in, but when I got that far in I felt sad, I felt humiliated and I felt sick. I think I'm going to wait a little while before I watch the movie.
And just for funsies, some more Happy Endings love:
“I cannot wait for you guys to meet Toby! Oh my God, we are into all the same things: the home shopping network, baby animals on the internet. He even thinks it’s cool that I needlepoint.”
“I gotta tell you, it sounds like you’re dating my grandma… This guy’s a hipster, Penny. All those things you like, he likes them ironically.”
So sad. So accurate. And mostly sad. They're not letting her dance or have fun or be enthusiastic. All of things that I like about television characters!