by Andrea Elizabeth

I am having a lot of trouble reading these days. Books are usually so negatively focused. What if my wildest fears happened? I wonder how many authors could be diagnosed as paranoid. I’m already paranoid enough. Of course Stephen King is a master at it. I’m dabbling at The Shining on ibooks and 11-22-63 on audible mainly because King is such a good psychologist ,and he also believes in the spiritual world. He has said that his monsters are actually his alcoholism. And maybe that’s why I gravitate towards him, he fears himself above all. The dad in the Shining turns out to be the monster, so it is confusing to believe that he loves his kid so much, but with provocation can turn on him so. To have him go so far toward evil – I’m not that far in the book but I remember the movie, which I know is different – is almost like a betrayal of onesself. Unless you identify with the kid and the dad is your vice, whatever that is. It’s interesting that the vices initially bring good experiences.

Crime and Punishment tried to meticulously explain how a nice guy that you can identify with turns into a murderer. I confess I had a little break in my suspension of disbelief at the transition. Murder and promiscuity are so abhorrent that I couldn’t see how characters I identify with can turn that corner. But alcohol and food addiction are much more palatable, shall we say. And a temper flare makes it easier than premeditation. I don’t think an identifiable character can premeditatedly commit murder. There has to be something off with him that makes him other. Suicide? Maybe in a frenzy, but not cool, calm and collected.

Carol in Walking Dead is the closest to an identifiable character calmly killing, but I think her world was so lost that something in her broke and she is not firing on all cylinders even though she’s pretty functional and loyal to the group.

I discovered Duplex Saturday and think it is a brilliant exposee of how normal, nice, identifiable people can be driven. It’s hillarious. See it with Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore, directed by Danny DeVito on Netflix streaming.