Friday, February 03, 2017

Today I Learned it Was You by Edward Riche

Today I Learned It Was You

The eleventh book I read in 2017 is Today I Learned it Was You by Edward Riche. I read this book because it was on the long list for Canada Reads 2017. It is written by a Newfoundland author and is set in Newfoundland, so that also caught my attention. I had heard a little about it from a friend that had heard the author read a passage from the book at an event. It didn't sound like my kind of book but I decided to read it anyway.

I felt lost after reading it. I'm not really sure what it was about. I thought the ending was weird. I don't know where in the world the title came from or how it fits the story. I may do a search for some information about the book to see if I can make better sense of it, or I may not.

I did find some parts of the book funny and I wonder if the author might have been trying to make a statement in them. Here are a few sections that made me think that:

I don't think any such alliance exists in reality but one scene referenced the NALSL - The Newfoundland and Labrador Sinus Alliance, a group who "argue that since we provide scent-free change rooms at municipal recreation facilities we should accommodate people who are sensitive to pollen in our public spaces." I wonder if this is to poke fun of all the different groups that society has to consider nowadays.

Another scene, actually most of the book, is about a man who is supposedly transitioning into a deer. In a council meeting about this someone says, "He needs to be who he wants to be. Who he always was. Or might have been if allowed." I wonder if this is a reference to the gender identity issues that are so much a part of society today.

Also, I think there is a dig at the media and internet in the scene where Lloyd reflects on how the story he started has taken off and he says, "The medium wasn't the message, it was the mania...You couldn't tell people out there in television land a better new story than their own."

This quote near the end of the book was interesting: "Maybe chaos was a force of nature and trying to stop anything a futile waste of energy that would merely, at best, delay the inevitable."

My overall impression is that this book is weird, but parts of it still made me think.

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