Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ginnie Wade is the Only Documented Civillian Death During the Battle of Gettysburg, Shot by a Stray Bullet While Making Bread

At the beginning of the summer, I mentioned that I was reading professor Olmstead’s latest book, Coal Black Horse. It’s been a while since I actually finished the novel, but I’ve been wondering how exactly to go about posting a blog entry on such an intense and deep novel without failing utterly in doing it proper justice, and I still believe that I won’t quite get this right, but I feel it important at least to mention either way. Professor Olmstead takes his readers on a journey with Robey, a young man who starts a boy, but, through his experiences on the road and in the chaos and brutality of the American Civil War becomes a man, but it would be a gross understatement to label this novel a coming of age story, because Professor Olmstead has stitched together a tale with a variety of threads, touching on subjects as ranged as religion, women’s experiences, and the truth about what war really is. An intense read overall, filled with gruesome details that often make the skin crawl, but definitely a good one as well. If one loves war novels, deep reads, and particularly if one is interested in studying English at OWU (specifically creative writing in this case, since Omstead is basically chief of that) I would suggest picking up a copy.
I’ve also had time to complete a few of the other books I mentioned, as well as one from my pile of ‘definitely read these as soon as you either find time or remember to, because these are guaranteed to be amazing and three quarters.’ Phillip Pullman’s final installment in his Dark Materials series did not disappoint, but next to my blatant love of Douglas Adams’s The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, it stands no chance of getting any more pixilated time on this blog. (Apologies, Mr. Pullman, but it’s just a hard act to lead into or to follow- even great books pale next to novels by favourite authors that do not disappoint!) First of all, if one has not heard of Douglas Adams, please stop reading this dribble and take a few moments to at the very least Google him before skipping off to the local book shop or library to procure a copy of any one of his brilliant works. Otherwise, join me in celebrating the sheer brilliance that is Adams. The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul exudes hilarity and cunning in every word, and I found myself hooked even before a check-in desk in London’s Heathrow Airport explodes in what is finally deemed an act of God. “But… what god? And why? What god would be hanging around Terminal Two of Heathrow Airport trying to catch the 15:37 flight to Oslo?” (see page 70) Now try adding that mystery to a homicidal eagle, a Coca-Cola machine, a traumatically dirty refrigerator that lurks in Dirk’s kitchen, and the mystery of Dirk’s very recently deceased client, whose head was found this morning revolving on the hit record ‘Hot Potato,’ and one has *quite* the delightful conundrum.

German Word: Animals are great and also a standard staple in most German students’ learning regime. One popular animal is the horse, or, auf Deutsch, Pferd, pronounced ‘faired.’

Pictures! Below, a shot of the haunting cover of Omlstead’s Coal Black Horse as well as a few shots from a recent family trip to Roscoe Village, OH.




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