The Chameleon Reader

I become the books I read.

Chameleon like, I take on the speech patterns and idiosyncracies of the characters on the page. This is not too detrimental to everyday life and personal relationships when I am reading something sunny and upbeat, but when I am in the throes of a dark, dysfunctional read – woe betide.

David Vann is one of the authors at the . I took his book Caribou Island on a recent trip to Sydney. From the get go, the book and real life became intertwined. As the plane ascended, the passenger in front of me took ill and the fruits of her labour flowed back into my handbag narrowly missing Caribou Island. A clear case of real life mirroring the many physical discomforts of this book.

Fortunately there wasn’t much time for reading in Sydney or, given my chameleon tendencies, I’d have morphed into an unfulfilled wife sniping at her husband’s bumbling failures. Add in a whole bunch of “searching for self” young people in bitterly cold, isolated Alaska and the scene is set. Sounds bleak I know, but the message that comes across (live your  dream, not someone else’s) is so well wrought, I guarantee you will relish your reading of this book.

The sick passenger on the plane was tended to by a very young doctor, the apple of his mother’s eye to be sure, who had (after eight years of study and vast sums of money) chosen this day to wear his  “Musician Searching for Groupies” t-shirt!

So Vann-like.

And the chameleon in me does not believe it would have happened like this had I been reading a  Danielle Steel!

4 thoughts on “The Chameleon Reader

  1. Christine Mullins 19 May 2011 / 3:49 pm

    Darling Roberta!
    Reading your blog was like listening to you at Book Club – oh how I miss our monthly get togethers! I will search out this book for sure.

    • robertafsmith 19 May 2011 / 7:03 pm

      Chris – Yay! Have you got a book club going in Iowa yet? This read will make every woman wonder about buying into someone else’s dream. Not that I’m saying that this doesn’t happen to men as well….just more common amongst the fairer sex I think.

  2. sheila starke 21 May 2011 / 2:24 am

    Sounds intriging Roberta. Have put it in my little book of recommended reads.Please keep these blogs going.

    • robertafsmith 21 May 2011 / 7:42 am

      Here’s another for the little black book Sheila – Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd.

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