Saturday, October 08, 2016

Can I Quote You on That?

Here is a passage from an international bestseller. I changed two words. The name in the book is not “Smith,” but I didn’t want to give the title away by citing the name, which would be easy to google. Other than that, this is exactly as it’s written in the book.

By the way, this is the second time I’ve tried to read this book. This is about where I quit last time, but since everyone tells me I need to read it, I’m going to push on a little further. I’m reeling already, though, so we’ll see how far I make it. I’ll reveal more about this book later.

QUOTE:
“Smith straightened sharply when he spied the tiny silver cross on the other side of the chaplain’s collar. He was thoroughly astonished, for he had never really talked with a chaplain before.
‘You’re a chaplain,’ he exclaimed ecstatically. ‘I didn’t know you were a chaplain.’
‘Why, yes,’ the chaplain answered. ‘Didn’t you know I was a chaplain?’
‘Why, no. I didn’t know you were a chaplain.’ Smith stared at him with a big, fascinated grin. ‘I’ve never really seen a chaplain before.’
The chaplain flushed again and gazed down at his hands.


27 comments:

Bill Crider said...

I've read this book several times. It's a favorite of mine. Different strokes for different folks.

Charles Gramlich said...

Bill, I know a lot of folks who like it. So far I'm finding it actually painful to my ears to read.

Ty said...

Read it years ago, and yeah, I never got it either. At the time I was thinking it must be a generational thing that spoke to those older than myself, but now I'm not so sure. Even the writing itself did little for me, trying to be witty without doing so and annoyingly incidental, even seemingly arbitrary.

But that's the great thing about books, they don't all have to be for me, and there's another one around the corner.

Charles Gramlich said...

Ty, true dat. I'm gonna do another twenty pages and if it doesn't hit something I can groove on then I'll just move on. Many more books out there

pattinase (abbott) said...

I don't understand why it repeats the word chaplain so much. Is it meant to be ironic?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, it's CATCH 22, Then it is meant to be ironic. I loved it.

Cloudia said...

9! I would need to read more to know if this is a poor or exceptional author. Sustained playing of one note in series is done by master players..

oscar case said...

I agree with pattinase - Catch 22. A great funny sarcastic, war novel on the order of The Good Soldier Schweik.

Charles Gramlich said...

Patti, yes, I'm sure it's meant to be ironic although I don't get the irony personally. It just grates on my ears.

Cloudia, I guess that depends on whether you like the music. :)

Oscar, I'm still reading but at present I believe we'll have to agree to disagree.
:)

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, I liked the book the first time I read it many years ago and since then I have been meaning to pick it up again. I haven't met anyone who didn't like the book.

Charles Gramlich said...

Prashant, well I haven't finished it but I'm not liking it so far. Maybe I am breaking new ground. :)

The Wasp said...

Tried to read it a couple of times and found the style far more irritating than funny. So much so I ditched both times. It's some freinds' favorite.

Charles Gramlich said...

The Wasp, that's exactly what I'm finding. A really good illustration of "different strokes for different folks," I guess.

David Cranmer said...

Yes, it needs more chaplains like Blue Öyster Cult needs more cowbell.

the walking man said...

50 Shades of Chaplin?

Charles Gramlich said...

David, great analogy!

Mark, How many chaplains could a chaplain bless if a chaplain could bless chaplains.

Bernard Lee DeLeo said...

I've read it, but I don't remember that passage. It would glaze my eyes over now. I'm not sure anyone could see that as anything but fill. Happy Anniversary to you and Lana, my friend. :)

Charles Gramlich said...

Bernard, my eyes have been well glazed, although its getting better as I go along.

R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

I also attempted but abandoned the book several times. I guess my "sense of humor" is not compatible with the author's and the praise-filled critics. I really don't "get" the hullabaloo associated with the book. No, I don't "catch" it. Good luck with your rereading.

Mudpuddle said...

milo minderbinder, master capitalist... i read it several times: funny and terrifying...

Angie said...

I didn't remember that bit, but seeing the title in comments, I have read that book. It was an assignment for a college class. It was... okay, I guess. I've never felt a need to reread it. [shrug]

I think it's one of those, "You had to be there," things, where in this case "being there" means having a particular worldview/mindset/history/whatever to appreciate the genius of the book. I have this problem with a lot of classics, and other books people jump up and down and tell me are awesome.

I agree with Ty, though, that it's good that there are so many different kinds of books. I don't have to love every one, but any given reader is more likely to find something they DO love, because of the variety.

Angie

sage said...

How many times can one use the word chaplain in 100 words....?

X. Dell said...

I'm pretty sure I've read this book. In fact it was a major, major, major influence on my own fiction writing. I think the repetition augments the humor in that there's a certain rhythm to it. And in comedy, timing is everything.

jodi said...

Charles-nope. Couldn't do it either. I think it ended up being donated.

Charles Gramlich said...

R. T., I was thinking originally it was maybe my mood when I first tried it. But that doesn't seem to make any difference for me on this second attempt.

Mudpuddle, I haven't gotten that far yet. I'm going to "muddle" through and see if my mind changes. :)

Angie, I do agree that it's good to have variety to choose from. I'm a hard sell for humor anyway. Although I didn't fight in the world wars, I was a history minor in college and have always had an interest in that period, particularly WWII. I've read hundreds of books about it, including lots of translations of German and Russian works on that war. a work that captures the basic humor and insanity of that war much better, in my opinion, is "Up Front" by Bill Mauldin. it was told in cartoons and I found it very hilarious.

Sage, Not many more times than this, I'm quite sure.

X. Dell. Perhaps one issue is the way that the reader reads the passage. Maybe if I heard someone deliver it, like in a play, the humor would come through. With me reading it in my voice it just grates for me.

Jodi, I've had it on my shelves for close to 10 years.

Angie said...

Charles -- my husband has some Bill Mauldin collections, and I've enjoyed them very much, despite not being at all into WWII fiction or history. :)

Angie

Charles Gramlich said...

Angie, I first saw that Mauldin collection when my brother in law had a copy when I was a kid. I ended up buying a copy for myself just a few years ago because I still remembered it fondly.