Baby Tuckoo

Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. . . .   – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, by James Joyce


Baby Moo Cow?

Just so y’all know, that’s my favorite first line of a book, EVER.  I still want a dog named Baby Tuckoo.  It’s an autobiography.  I don’t generally care for first-person narration, because, well… it’s very limited by what the narrator sees, hears or thinks she knows, but this was one of my first nearly-adult book loves, and it helped me on my way to a love of biographies of any sort.

Why am I sharing this?  Well, I haven’t re-read A Portrait… in a few years, but I found myself thinking about Joyce’s writing style as I was reading Fight Club.  (I’m guessing that there are no more than two possible readers who have read both books… if you have, I’d love to hear your opinions!)


Fur girl fight club?

I didn’t love Fight Club, but I plowed through it quickly.  I hate to give spoilers, so if you don’t want me to spoil the movie or the book, skip the next paragraph.

I knew I had to see this dark, depraved novel to its finish.  I just felt in my bones that there was going to be a sharp twist and big message, and I wanted to know what both would be.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Sure enough, short of Marla (the love-ish interest-ish), our narrator was the last to put the pieces together and figure out who Tyler really was.  I didn’t see it coming, although with hindsight…  If you read Fight Club or saw the movie (I haven’t, but that same twist has to be in there), did you figure it out before the big reveal?

Because Chuck Palahniuk’s style isn’t like most things I read, I’ve already started Survivor.  His use of in medias res requires me to pay attention from the start, and makes me think more than a lot of books do.  There’s no easing into his works.  Like Jodi Picoult, his happy ending void is going to keep him from being a favorite of mine, or even someone I can suggest y’all need to read.  However, if you like dark themes and appreciate an author who makes you think, you’ll appreciate his work.

I’m also reminded of a very heated discussion I had more than 20 years ago about Stephen King.  I’ve written one rather brutal, no-happy ending short story that I’m very proud of, even though I wrote it in high school, so I don’t think twisted tales or sorrid subjects come from a warped mind.   I think we’ve all had a gripping nightmare or two, or witnessed a scene that really made us question the compassion of humanity.  I like to be challenged as a reader, and Chuck does that, to be sure.

Another book that came to mind while I was reading Fight Club was Life of Pi.  I truly HATED that book and had to make myself finish it, and was then VERY sorry I saw it through.  Maybe I’m in a different frame of mind now, but I liked the last part (once we found out who Tyler really was) of Fight Club best!

What are you up to this weekend?  What are you knitting?  My knitting mojo tried to return Wednesday, but it was stiffled by my inability to do a simple two-stitch repeat 240 times per row.


Gretchen wants to know if you'll come throw the ball for her because she's B.O.R.E.D.??

15 comments on “Baby Tuckoo

  1. Mary says:

    Hey, Gretchen, I will play with you!!!! But not sure I can pitch over a 100 miles?

    I cannot compare the novels you speak of as I intensely dislike dark reading. My imagination is much too susceptible to bad things and it is a guarantee that I will have nightmares if I read them or watch them. Hence, no SK or other authors of that ilk.

  2. gMarie says:

    Oh BabyGrrrrl I’ll come throw your ball. Poor think. You need to learn to play soccer. I thought of you this morning when the woman I was sitting next to described her granddaughter as JRT!

    I’m knitting 2 socks (what else?). I guess technically that would be 4 socks, right? Hoping to pick out light fixtures this weekend and paint some moulding. g

  3. laceylee says:

    Never have read either of those books. But I did see the movie of Fight Club. It was interesting. Send Gretchen my way. Angus gets and ample dose of fetch with his baby every day. It wouldn’t be anything to throw another dog and a ball in the mix.

  4. AlisonH says:

    Knitting baby stuff! But I promise never never to talk in baby talk (unless I’m teasing someone.)

  5. Barbara S. says:

    I agree with G about the little one learning soccer; when I read her comment, I immediately saw the school yard in SLC. We would walk our dogs to the school as part of their circuit, and most nights there was a JRT playing soccer with its owner, but the owner didn’t really have to do much besides just stand there and kick the ball once in awhile. Hubband still talks about happy that dog looked with its soccer ball!

  6. Sue says:

    I must be the odd one. I don’t like books that tie up all the loose ends and have a happy ever after ending. I like books that are true to life and we all know that life doesn’t always have happy endings with all the loose ends neatly finished off. I prefer biographies and histories, but I even like my novels to be closer to real life.

    Samba and Norma Jean say they’d like to play ball with Gretchen. Sky doesn’t wait his turn and tries to get the ball every time even if he has to muscle them out of the way. Maybe we need a girl’s team.

  7. Barbara S. says:

    Oh, and my weekend? Cleaning, moving stuff, driving, and there had better be at least a little bit of knitting!

  8. Marjie says:

    Poor Gretchen looks bored! I’ve never read the Life of Pi, but some of my kids did for assigned high school reading. They hated it. I saw Fight Club the movie, but never read it, and I didn’t see the twist coming. I like biographies, love historical fiction, and Taylor Caldwell has to have been one of my favorite authors ever.

  9. Anita says:

    Hmmm, haven’t read those books. I’m a happy ending kind of girl too. That’s why I won’t read Nicholas Sparks anymore. Actually the people didn’t bother me, but when he killed off the beloved dog in one story, that was the end for me! 🙂

    cutie pie Gretchen, I’d throw a ball for you sweetie. 🙂

  10. Kathy says:

    oh oh oh…..Mr. B says he’ll play ball…;).
    What a pitiful little face.

    Weekend plans? A little cleaning, laundry and a movie-knit-a-thon with the college DD. Getting ready for her to move back in a week and we’re going to enjoy the weekend.

  11. Sasha wouldn’t love to play ball WITH Grethen, I’m afraid…she’d just take the ball and run with it!! You know something of my weekend plans, but I’ll wait until Monday to share with others…

  12. Amy says:

    I’m with you – the narrator in Fight Club is my favorite character. But I do love some of Marla’s quick wit and comebacks. Everytime I read that book, I have to smile to myself when he keeps repeating that one phrase, “And I used to be such a nice person.” While I agree, Chuck’s style isn’t for everyone, he’s still one of my favorite authors. I hope you enjoy ‘Survivor’! If you want to read more of his stuff, I recommend ‘Choke’ and ‘Snuff’ to read next.

  13. I hated Life of Pi too and made myself finish it. I am so glad to hear you did too!

  14. grace says:

    I tried to read Life of Pi but no way, could not do it, I knit a lot of my new shawl since we left last week Over 400 yards, need to wind more yarn, and made 3 washcloths because my brother in law likes to watch TV in the dark so I needed totally mindless for that!!

  15. Nichole says:

    I see that Nook has got you on a reading spree!!! =)
    I started The Lost Dogs over the weekend…. and if I want to hang Vick by his you-know-what even more so than before…….

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