Saturday, May 26, 2012

Egg & I.

As I mentioned in previous post, Simcha Fischer recently published a list of, so-called, LOL books.

One book on her list was The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald. Simcha had praised the book so much,I decided to go to my local public library and check it out. While there, I also picked up MacDonald's, The Plaque and I , which had been recommended by someone commenting on Fischer's article.

I had seen the Hollywood version of the book on TV sometime in the 1960's - as best as I can recall. I don't recall much of the movie, however. I don't think I could have told you who starred in the movie if I hadn't read up on it recently. With Simcha's recommendation, I was sure the book would be worth reading.

As Simcha wrote in her review, the story is completely engrossing, but although sections of the book are quite funny, I wouldn't describe the whole work as "LOL". There are portions of the book which are not funny.....nor were they meant to be; I'm certain no one was laughing while reading MacDonald's story of how she was very nearly raped by two drunken Indians. I was completely surprised by her discussion of the prevalence of abortion in the community were she and her husband lived; no LOL moments, there.

Don't get the wrong idea. I loved the book and highly recommend it, though it isn't what one would call a laugh a minute.

Both the wikipedia article on the book and Simcha Fischer mentioned that modern readers might find MacDonald's treatment of native Americans objectionable. True enough, she is very critical of many native Americans in the book. I didn't find her descriptions objectionable because I believe that MacDonald wrote the truth as she experienced it. Besides, MacDonald was critical of nearly everyone in the book, not just the Indians. She gave everyone Hell.

The only thing I did object to was MacDonald's blasphemous use of the Lord's name. Her use of words like "bitch" or "son of a bitch" or "bastard" didn't bother me so much, but I didn't care for what I'll euphemistically render as "GD". Other than that, I'd say the book was the best I've read in quite some time.

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