Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Snow in August

Phew...another 36 hour storm warning. It's been snowing most of the day but I really don't think we will get as much as other areas. The snow was tiny and fragile and beautiful. But right now we are in a lull. I have been reading a novel to Robert as we drive places. With this reading I have to read and censor as I go. I have to do this fast. I have to scan ahead and skip the words that are totally unacceptable to Robert's ears. And as I have done so, it's become easier. Even I don't see the words as they are written but see them as I read them aloud. (but be warned) But today, I couldn't wait for Robert to finish it. I cheated. I read til I finished it. I really thought this was a super story.

The title is Snow in August by Pete Hamill. I would totally recommend this book despite the use of a lot of street language. The story is set in NYC right after WWII. And there is a miracle. But not the miracle I was looking for. The miracle turned out to be perfect, however. But along the way, there were several miracles. Jews, Catholics, thugs, baseball. Imagination plays a huge part in this story...and I thought, how lucky kids today would be if they could have the imagination of the 40s. If TV didn't bring reality to their visions.

Initially I saw this book while I volunteered at the Scholastic Warehouse. I didn't purchase the book but took it out of the library. And keep renewing it...now to have Robert finish it.

Who knew where SHAZAM came from? I didn't until now.

* Word used to change Billy Batson into Captain Marvel in the comic book series.

    Wisdom of Solomon
    Strength of Hercules
    Stamina of Atlas
    Power of Zeus
    Courage of Achilles
    Speed of Mercury

Word used to change Mary Batson into Mary Marvel in the comic book series.
    Grace of Selena
    Strength of Hippolyta
    Skill of Ariadne
    Fleetness of Zephyrus
    Beauty of Aurora
    Wisdom of Minerva

No wonder that word, used by conjurors, would introduce extraordinary deed or transformations. (and in perfect timing for the advent of a PG rated move, Percy Jackson and the Olympians...the Lightning Thief).

And what do you think about crime? Are informers the 'scum of God's sweet earth' , as Michael's mom says? Or is it like Rabbi Hirsch says , "you keep quiet about some crime, it's just as bad as the crime"?

And how I'd love to have had a Golem in the past. That link there has some good reading.

But I think I most enjoyed the end, the author's own telling of how this story came into being. How he himself had been a shabbos goy. And this won't spoil the story for you if you venture into a good read but the very last paragraph from Pete Hamill is:

The Golem is a triumphant symbol of the human imagination. On its simplest level, his tale is a parable about the power of moral intelligence. The imagination allows us to confront all horror and all evil. In the end, the imagination opens out, like a great symphony, to encompass all the living and the dead, to say to the forces of evil, as the Jews continue to say, a half century after the Holocaust: You cannot win. You can kill us. You can insult us. You can marginalize us. But we shall triumph. And we shall dance.

Once I had been put into that position and today I smile at just how much dancing I did that one night. I won. I didn't die. I triumphed. And I am so grateful! Hope someone out there is brave enough to read past the some street language and enjoy a story.


Millie said...

Oh happy belated Birthday my friend. I just noticed that. I hope you had a very nice day. Congrates.

Lin Floyd said...

what a recommendation, good to have you back blogging...

Jocelyn Christensen said...

I'd love to borrow that book from you...or maybe our library actually has it???

Dawn Mercedes said...

Hallmark has this movie on their movie challenge. I watched if a few weeks ago...

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