I did it. I finished the tome that is The Golden Notebook. I feel the need to mark the occasion.
And what, you may ask, did I think of it? What indeed.
Well, I am certainly no authority on anything but my own feelings and
reactions. And sometimes not even on them.
So I will give you my response with these reservations.
I loved the beginning, the flow, the strength and
interaction of the characters. Moving
from the storyline to the notebooks was interesting. The notebooks add a disjointed element. But
that is not negative, it’s just different.
Innovative. Challenging. Something to which I relate, for I have tons of
notebooks for different moods, purposes and events.
The descent into madness troubled me. Exasperated me. Repulsed me somewhat. I hated that she knew
that her behaviour was out of control and yet would not respond. I felt she indulged it. Revelled in it even. Put off what she would ultimately do. For she would ultimately take full control
again for the sake of her daughter and thus toyed with madness rather than was
afflicted by it. But I needed her to
take control sooner. And when she
finally did, and everything sorted itself out, it felt false and rushed and
manicured to manufacture a kind of happy ever after.
But then not really happy at all. Indeed, no-one ever seemed happy in the
book. All the main characters seemed a
tad spoiled and overindulged. The women
who often claimed such strength felt weak and dependent. Responsive only to the
men and their whims. The men were all portrayed as arrogant and selfish. Men and women full of their opinions. Full of their need to fulfil their
needs. Holding back from nothing. And yet not one of them offered a glimpse of
hope or understanding.
Fellow-feeling. Or simply offered
It seems like a tale of people living a life they thought they
should live, that should make them happy, yet constantly aware
that it didn't. With no answers offered. No direction, no encouragement. No
energy. Indeed I felt more than a tad
sucked free of any energy I might have had at the end.
I was glad to finish. And not just because it was a tome. I do wonder what others think about it. And I will find out. I’m off to Google.
And that, my friends, is the joy that is reading. Good, bad. Up and down. And ultimately, an experience every time.