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books and reading

Still Life With Woodpecker

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A friend of mine read this in school as an example of satire, a genre I enjoy, but I had never heard of this book. But, she recommends pretty great stuff, so I added it to my list and didn’t think much more about it. I stumbled across a cheap copy somewhere and bought it, simply for the delicious old book smell, but also in case I decided to read it. The 2020 PopSugar Reading Challenge requires a book with a great first line. So, while searching the internet for great first lines, this book is recommended for the following: “If this typewriter can’t do it, then fuck it, it can’t be done.” Consider me sold.

This bizarre love story follows Princess Leigh-Cheri and her would-be love interest, The Woodpecker, AKA Bernard. She is an environmentally conscious teen, he’s an older dynamite enthusiast. Match made in Heaven, right? They meet in Hawaii, and their love blossoms, as do their explicitly described sexual escapades, so what could go wrong? Unfortunately, Bernard gets caught up with “the law” and ends up in prison. Leigh-Cheri knows what she must do while she waits for his release. She must also imprison herself with nothing more than Bernard has. A simple cot, a chamber pot, and a pack of Camels. Ain’t love grand?

Leigh-Cheri is young and really doesn’t know much about love. Bernard is more of a rapscallion than Leigh-Cheri admits, so this separation doesn’t go as well as expected, but I’ll leave you to find out why. To put it straight, this book is hilarious. There are so many delightful phrases I flat out snorted at in laughter. It did take a bit to get into, but once they get to Hawaii, the pace picks up quite a bit. I’m going to be honest and say that this book is flat-out bizarre, but I really enjoyed it.

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