What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Lobster

I'm not a really big Red Lobster fan.  I do love the cheddar biscuits and I have always gotten lovely service there, but I am not just madly, crazy in love with the Lobster, like I am Joe's Crab Shack.  I have a feeling though, that if the Red Lobster in Last Night at the Lobster was my local Lobster, I would probably be a crazy in love fan.  These people are pretty endearing, even the least endearing of them are endearing. 
When this book was recommended to me by The Empress she told me very clearly, "Nothing happens in this book.  NOTHING happens.   There is no action.  But I LOVED it.  It's just a great story."  I knew, then, that nothing would happen in the book.  Even at the end when I thought, and really wanted this one big thing to happen, I knew it wasn't going to, because I had been warned.  I was still disappointed that the really big thing I wanted to happen didn't happen, but that didn't make me love the book any less. 
The title is straight forward.  A Red Lobster is closing, today is it's last day because of its "under performance."  Only five of the forty-four employees will have a job the following Monday.  The manager, Manny, is one of them and he chose four others to go with him to the Olive Garden in a nearby town.  We see this last day through Manny's eyes. 
This was a library book and on the comment card in the back someone had called the author the "Bard of the Common Man" and I like that and I can see why.  This is a simply, yet wonderful look at everyday people doing everyday, but very important things and taking pride in those tasks. 
The relationship between Manny and Jacquie was almost too much for me to stand though, having been through a somewhat similar experience, I felt every pain that Manny did in his interaction with his co-worker.  O'Nan does an amazing job of capturing the human spirit in the every day world.  I loved this book.
While I was reading this book the song Closing Time kept running through my head.
I can't find it anywhere, not even the lyrics.  It is only included on lists of songs off of her Highway Diner album, is fabulous, by the way.  I do remember some of the words.
Here are some lines, in no real order:
Closing time, unplug them people, and send them home, it's closing time.
Kenny he's been mixing sounds all evening. 
Sometimes I think that boy, he ain't got no ears.
And Kathy's laughing and Kathy's always laughing.
Keep on laughing Kathy, just make it out of here.
Closing time, unplug them people, and send them home, it's closing time.  
Anyway.  It's a great song.  Great book, too.

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