Shuttle, Paul Theroux, and The Reader

1. Shuttle
Ever since we moved to the south side of the city, i started using a different shuttle stop. Interestingly enough, the demographic of passengers at this shuttle stop seems to be quite different than the one before.

My old neighborhood belonged to the younger, more hip, more yuppy area of the city. Passengers were younger, more stylish, more preppy-looking. People in my new stop are more family people, older, more low-key, quieter, calmer.

In addition, the bus is less crowded, we have less frequent services, and we get a smaller bus than the large spanking new ones serving northern, trendier neighborhood of the city.

I don’t really miss my old shuttle. Until today, when i wanted to read a book on my way home. The reading light on this older shabbier shuttle are almost non-existent.

So i had to give up reading and came to my computer and try writing instead.

2. The Ghost Train to the Eastern Star
The book i’m reading is Paul Theroux’ new travel book “The Ghost Train to The Eastern Star” page 273/496.

He is traveling inside Burma.
I loved the part he did prior to Burma: Sri Lanka. He made it sound so beautiful and serene.
Prior to that was India, which i tolerated, and felt relieved that he finally left it behind.
The eastern Europe sounded very interesting. London and Paris, his starting chapters of the beginning of his journey were also interesting because he mixed it with his life stories.

Gui told me that the reason his prior books (those prior to Dark Star Safari) were so angry and rude, the reason that he as a traveler was so disliked by the readers (me included) were explained in the starting chapters.

He was going through a hard time personally when he was taking his “Great Railway Bazaard” trip. When he returned his wife had taken a lover, and eventually, many years later, they divorced. In this book, he said they divorced because “some betrayal is less forgiving than others.” I found that very hypercritical. Cuz he had affairs too, why is it that her betrayal is more unforgiving than his? But i guess when it comes to matters of heart, there is no fairness to speak of.

I am glad he is happier now with his second marriage. As a result, we readers get to read more pleasant writings from him like Dark Star Safari and The Ghost Train to the Eastern Star! I’m not complaining. 🙂

3. The Reader
I was re-reading “The Reader” about a month ago. I realized that i had forgotten lots of details in the book since my first read 9 years ago. I loved it then and i loved it even more after the second read.

Then a couple of weeks ago i saw it had been made into a movie that was scheduled to release this December, with Kate Winslet. I noted it down as a movie i would love to see. Because Kate Winslet is one of those actors who has a good track record of picking the best script. Last night i saw the movie trailer of “The Reader” on TV. Another surprise was revealed, it not only has Kate Winslet, but also Ralph Fiennes!

The film director is Stephen Daldry, who also directed the Hours, and Billy Elliot.

Possibly a good movie? Fingers crossed. It says LIMITED release on Dec. 12th. Usually that means NY and LA. I wonder when it will come to SF!

One thought on “Shuttle, Paul Theroux, and The Reader

  1. Jean: I actually read “the reader” after reading your previous web review and loved it a lot. I would love to watch the movie (I adore both Kate and Ralph, but a bit worried that the movie may not be as great as the novel itself). On my way back home from Bangkok, I bought a book called”Blink” and thought I would need something to read during the long journey home, little did I know that the book is such an interesting read, highly recommended.

    Jean’s Reply:
    JoyMocha, Thank you for the recommendation. I just finished reading “Ghost Train to the Eastern Star”, and my order of “blink” arrived right on time. 🙂

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