Monday, September 29, 2014
This week: airplanes with Jesus, Kurt Vonnegut, and Voltaire
This past weekend I read through A Day with a Perfect Stranger, not a difficult task given that it’s less than 100 pages. A sequel to Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, which featured overworked businessman accepting a dinner invitation with a man who turned out to be Jesus, A Day’s approach is slightly different. Whereas Jesus argued Nick into accepting a relationship with him, A Day is more of an episode of Touched by an Angel. Nick’s wife, Mattie, is contemplating leaving him for his newly-found Jesusfreakness, and so doesn’t hesitate for too long when the very interesting fellow she met on the airplane asks to join her for lunch during their airline layover. Their prolonged conversation through the day (including two air trips and a layover) is something of an exercise in counseling, as the stranger moves Mattie to consider what she’s really worried about. Eventually he delivers the God loves you line, if not in an Irish accent with golden light and doves, and vanishes with Mattie in tears reconsidering her life. It’s nice in the Touched by an Angel way, with lots of warm fuzziness that you probably have to be in the mood for.
In other news, I finished Seeing like a State, with comments to follow this week, and a review for The Age of Voltaire is imminent. I considered checking out Rousseau and Revolution, but it’s only a hair shorter than the monstrous Age of Faith, and not nearly as enticing. One day I’ll take it on, but not until the TBR list is complete. Yesterday I picked up a handful of library books, largely history with some novels to boot. My next Great War read will be The Forgotten War, also on the Eastern front. One of the novels is by Kurt Vonnegut, so that should be fun – in that kindly, wearily cynical way. I had hoped to read H.G. Wells' Wheels of Chance, but it was only an e-book. Alas.