shot of sass, served on (n)ice

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


This week, the Smartini barmaids are talking to their patrons about what they should read.

I’m having trouble coming up with anything profound or interesting to say about The Mysterious Benedict Society that hasn’t already been said by ash. And, well, I’m just going to be shameless and quote her here:

It reminded me a bit of Harry Potter - the way unlikely friendships are rendered, the inherent battle between good and evil and the position that children are far more clever and reliable than what they seem. (Now, Potter fans, I'm in no way indicating that the boy wizard has been equaled, but without any more trips to Hogwarts, I have to read something...). The great thing about The Mysterious Benedict Society is that it's got that same quality of an unlikely reality rendered in the real world - it's not a mystical fairy land. It also plays into - as I've discussed before - that secret hope we all harbor that we are more than we seem.

While some of the books themes read benignly enough in a children's book, they're positively ominous to me. A machine called the Whisperer that can control your thoughts? The Waiting Room, whose indescribable horror is never fully described. And the thought that - in order to be happy - we could ignore the world's problems, let go of hope, and embrace ambivalence. It's enough to make you think.

I recently re-read Harry Potter’s 6, 7, and 5, in that order, and after reading any HP, I always find it difficult to move on. But, The MBS so far has done the trick for me as well. Read it. You won’t regret meeting Reynie Muldoon and his friends Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire.

Oh, one cool factoid, not about the author, but the illustrator of these books (there are soon to be three): she illustrated for the band The Decemberists as well. It’s pretty easy to see the connection, and makes the books that much cooler.

1 tips left at the bar:

niki said...

These sound awesome! Can't wait to get my hands on them.