Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yay, new book time!

I have two things keeping me busy right now.
1. The X-Files. All seasons are available on Netflix instant watch, so I've been plowing through them. I really don't get what was SO amazing about the show... But it is fairly entertaining.


2. The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. At first I was really excited to start it. It got amazing reviews and looked incredibly interesting. Then I started reading and it was kind of hard to get in to, so I got a slow start. But now that I've gotten in to it I'm really starting to like it. It's the sort of science fiction book that really sets up the whole story beforehand. You know the author spent hours and hours creating a world to set his story even before he started writing.

Also there is one passage that I read and just sat dumbstruck at the beauty and power of it. I can maybe count on one hand the number of times that's happened. I'm only a little over a hundred pages in and I'm thinking NEW FAVORITE BOOK!
The passage is about the Windup girl who is forced to work in a brothel-type place. She is a genetically engineered person, and so she has no rights and is treated like property or a religious abomination.

"In the privacy of the open air and the setting sun, she bathes. It is a ritual process, a careful cleansing. The bucket of water, a fingerling of soap. She squats beside the bucket and ladels the warm water over herself. It is a precise thing, a scripted act as deliberate as Jo No Mai, each move choreographed, a worship of scarcity.
She pours a ladleful over her head. Water courses down her face, runs over breasts and ribs and thighs, trickles onto hot concrete. Another ladleful, soaking her black hair, coursing down her spine and curling around her buttocks. Again a ladle of water, sheeting over her skin like mercury. And then the soap, rubbing it into her hair and then her skin, scouring herself of the previous night's insults until she wears a pale sheen of suds. And again the bucket and ladle, rinsing herself as carefully as with the first wetting.
Water sluices away soap and grime, even some of the shame comes with it. If she were to scrub for a thousand years she would not be clean, she she is too tired to care and she has grown accustomed to scars she cannot scour away. The sweat, the alcohol, the humid salt of semen and degradation, these she can cleanse. It is enough. She is too tired to scrub harder. Too hot and too tired, always.
At the end of her rinsing, she is happy to find a little water left in the bucket. She dips one ladleful and drinks it, gulping. And then in a wasteful, unrestrained gesture, she upends the bucket over her head in one glorious cathartic rush. In that moment, between the touch of the water and the spash as it pools around her toes, she is clean."
(The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi, 102-103)