Did you hear about how Pac Man was almost named Puck Man, but they decided not to because Puck can so easily be mistaken for another word? Yeah, I think something like that was happening with Fu*k the Reluctant
. Elaine Knighton was trying to bring back the laughter that the video game gods had taken away. For teh children. The story itself isn’t really a knee slapper, but it’s about characters named Fu*k, the Iron Maiden, and the Hurler, so that makes up for a lot. Ironically, the Hurler doesn’t hurl, the Iron Maiden is not the band
(I know, bogus), and Fu*k . . . well, he gets it on less than his name would suggest. He’s reluctant, you see. They all are.
I had to do a senior project in high school, so my friend and I decided to make ours a theater project. We taught script-writing classes at the local middle school, and then had the kiddos act out their plays after they had written them. It was fun. This one girl wrote a play that was probably pretty ahead of her time. She didn’t have a sense of . . . time continuity? The story was about a girl who had to go out in the woods and fight these wizards to earn some kind of prize (I forget what). It was basically a video game. My favorite part, though, was that at one point a stage direction had the girl sitting down in front of a tree to eat seven apples. Take that, Samuel Beckett! Seven apples! Try doing that for a matinee and evening show. You’d have to cast Nicole Kidman, or something.
There were a lot of awesome moments in this book that kind of remind me of that. It gave me that feeling like, well, I’m happy for you, characters, that you were conveniently able to eat seven apples, but did I need to be part of that experience? No. It’s boring. A reader must skim.
Having said that, I’m pretty sure that this book is what so many people wished Mockingjay had turned out to be. Fu*k
is about a feisty young woman, abused by the world, who wants to protect her kingdom with a quiver of arrows. She meets a man who she thinks is her enemy, but who is actually her friend, and then she can’t make up her mind how she feels about him. DON’T WORRY, I won’t spoil for you what she ultimately decides. But the book is about these two people deciding whether or not to fu*k, and how their deciding to fu*k brings political peace to the realm. oh, cr*p, spoiler. I think that’s what some people wanted Mockingjay to be about. It’s not gut wrenching, and with every twist, you know you’ll get back on the path to a happy end.
This is actually one of the best bodice rippers that I’ve read in my limited foray into the genre. It has a lot of the good ol’ anti-feminist propaganda, like when the Iron Maiden says, “no,” she really means, “yes.” She's not genuinely confused, she just can't express desire. And through all of her psychological trauma and misery, it turns out that what she really needs in order to heal is Fu*k’s penis. Sexual healing
. This is the opposite of the wikimagvag
, but it’s more familiar, right? We were all like, “WTFu*k?” when we started coming across this phenomenon of mystically healing lady parts, but when I read this, it was immediately familiar. Women who are good at stuff just need to have sex in order to remember how to be women again (aka, not good at stuff). Duh. We all know that. So, then, was Judy Blume actually being consciously subversive to this rhetoric in Wifey? I still refuse to give her credit, but I find myself more perplexed. Is it subversive to say that men need women, instead of saying that women need men? It seems more like a playground shouting match where everyone ends up saying, “no YOU are!” Which is totally respectable. None of us really know who is more needy than the rest. If you start pointing fingers it might not end up being you.
This week, three different women, whose lives I don’t particularly envy, but don’t despise by any means, asked me when I’m going to start having bab*es. Maybe because they know that I’m hating my second year of law school as much as I loved the first. And if you are unhappy, pregnancy is probably the answer. That’s the basic moral of this story, too. It’s a classic. It makes my soul die a little bit, but it’s a classic. And it’s not that I’m against children, other than their being evil little no-neck monsters. But I am as bad at relationships and people as I have been good at law school, so it’s probably not good to sic me on helpless innocents. And I can’t ask these women, in return, “When are you going to start going to graduate school?” It’s strident, and if I’m strident, I’ll have to have even more bab*es later to make up for it. Fu*k.
I don’t know if I’d say I generally like this book. I can’t give it the three stars I’d like to (to put it above Pleasuring the Pirate) because it’s not fair to other three-star books. It was totally not awful to me. At worst it was boring. At best it was silly. And there’s one kind of dashing part of galloping away on a horse to go camping, and I liked that. And some nuns. They were cool. Everyone talked like Yoda. Oh, and a weird part with a mystical shepherd. That was pretty nice and Monty Python-esque. Fu*k
is pretty disapproving of me, but I can take it. It would like to see me off having bab*es, but for now it will have to settle for reviews.
Yeah, that's how I roll.