Diary of a Network Geek

The trials and tribulations of a Certified Novell Engineer who's been stranded in Houston, Texas.

1/13/2006

Review: Torturer’s Apprentice

Filed under: Criticism, Marginalia, and Notes,Deep Thoughts,Life, the Universe, and Everything,Review — Posted by the Network Geek during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening or 6:03 pm for you boring, normal people.
The moon is a Full Moon

I stayed up late last night to finish The Torturer’s Apprentice.
It’s not my usual fare, and I really should have been through it much sooner. It wasn’t a long book, and very good, but I’ve been a little, er, “scattered” lately. Well, that and the Advanced Ripped Fuel I’ve been taking to try and up my metabolic rate so that I actually have the energy to do aerobic exercise again. (I keep reading about people running marathons and such, but my knees are too bad for that sort of thing. Besides, I think hitting the heavy bag would be better for my repressed rage.) Right, sorry, what was on about?
Ah, the book! Yes, quite well done, actually. A series of short stories, none related, several taking place in and around New Orleans before Katrina was even a tropical depression. As I mentioned this is quite a departure from my normal trash reading, but I was well rewarded for my risk. John Biguenet writes about wounded people trying to make their way in the world. The Vulgar Soul, which is the first story, is about an unbeliever, or, at best, an agnostic, who comes down with a case of stigmata. It’s a touching tale of loss and redemption, though, with a bit of a twist. Then, there was Lunch With My Daughter. I was touched deeper than I thought possible by this one. In fact, that may have been why I set the book aside for a bit. Very powerful writing, though it’s my personal life that triggered the deep emotion. The Work of Art, frankly, left me longing for love. It made me think about what I was looking for in a relationship and who might embody that. This was the story that had me reading late into the night last night. Do Me almost finished me off. A disturbing tale of passion and erotisicm, which I honestly didn’t expect, and pain. Always with love and passion the pain. Frankly, it hit a little close to home and I was relieved it ended in a way that resembled my life not at all. Any other alternative would have been far, far too disturbing.
In any case, everything was well written and thought-provoking, but those stories stuck out for me. Over all it was well done. The writing disappeared behind the story, which is always a good thing for me. It’s a short book and well worth picking up.

Today at lunch, I started A practical guide to Buddhist Meditation, which promises to be a good one. I’ve been meaning to start meditating again for some time. I used to do it when I was in college, but, then, I got consumed with my consumer life and much of my spirituality slipped away. Unless you count the girls I pursued to no avail. That’s fairly Zen-like, pursuing that which cannot be attained. Isn’t that the definition of Zen? “That which, when sought, cannot be found, but is found when the search is abandoned”?
Oh, that reminds me of something. The other day, I reccomended a book to someone via e-mail, but it’s been hard to get. Well, the book, the Science of Breath, is now online! Well worth checking out.

And, now, it’s off to a cheap dinner at the local Vietnamese noodly shop and thence to Half-Price Books. Anyone have suggestions for what to keep an eye out for?


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