Monday, January 16, 2006

Novel Sndtrck: White Apples

Play it: Novel Sndtrck: White Apples

Someone recently recommended Jonathan Carroll's latest novel Glass Soup, and since it's a continuation from this prior novel, White Apples (2002,) I thought I'd tackle that one first - and found it ripe for the Novel Sndtrck workout. I also, quite surprisingly, have seemingly found that rarest of commodities these days (for me, anyway:) An Author with plenty of books for me discover.

White Apples is a love story in the backdrop of an existentialist view of the big picture. It's main character is dead (not a spoiler) and the story line is of a battle between good and evil, life and chaos. Midway through the book, Carroll reveals his cosmology as one of a mosaic contained of Scrabble-like pieces. Each invidual has his own mosaic, and, against better nature, can't but help to rearrange and change it even when it appears finished. This mosaic, it's then later revealed, is it's own small piece in the larger fabric of the universe, and this mosaic is constantly being destroyed and rebuilt (a 'big-bang',) with a different God each time at it's helm.

At it's heart though, this is a romance... a transcendental romance. Think Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy written through the lens of Faulkner's As I Lay Dying, with a little of The Omen thrown in for good measure. Pat Conroy has said, "Jonathan Carroll is a cult waiting to be born," and so I don my hood and cape and reach out asking, 'more kool-aid?'

My favorite music (re?)discovery from the book is Major Lance's "The Monkey Time," described in the book as his only hit. While that may be true, most of his songs were written by Curtis Mayfield, and the best of compilation Everybody Loves a Good Time!: The Best of Major Lance (Play it,) is a goldmine of goodtime hits from a lost era of rock n' soul.

An aside - I realize it's been awhile since I last did one of these, and the main reason is Richard Powers' The Time of Our Singing. That's the one I was (and am forever) working on and it's been a doozy. Because of it's girth and levity, I've refocused my Novel Sndtrcks feature to be incidental to my normal readings (instead of seeking out music-specific novels only.)

Previously:
Novel Soundtrack: Kafka On The Shore (Ribaldry and Schmaltz's J Shifty)
Novel Soundtracks: Killing Yourself To Live (Drive Like Hell's Dallas Hudgens)
Novel Soundtracks: Drive Like Hell
Novel Soundtracks: Fortress of Solitude
James Frey's My Friend Leonard
Jonathon Lethem's The Disappointment Artist

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1 comment:

drake leLane said...

Novel Sndtrcks: White Apples

* "Someone To Watch Over Me" - Ella Fitzgerald
* "Another One Bites The Dust" - Queen
* "The Blue Danube Waltz" - Johann Strauss, Jr.
* "Carmen - Habanera" - Georges Bizet
* "Viva Las Vegas" - Elvis Presley
* "Suspicious Minds" - Elvis Presley
* "Mandy" - Barry Manilow
* "The Monkey Time" - Major Lance
* "My Favorite Things" - Richard Rodgers & Oscar Hammerstein
* "A Thousand Kisses Deep" - Leonard Cohen