Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Lunchtime read: Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

Having read Catcher in the Rye there are similarities with Buddy taking a very dim view of most of the people around him and only really having a warm felling for his family. There isn’t the same aggression as there is with the main character in Catcher but that is more because you feel Buddy is more of an observer and it is not directly involving his life.

Highlights from the second half of Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters

* The wedding guests are grumpy and hot and Seymour’s brother Buddy invites them back to his apartment which has air conditioning and the attraction of a drink

* In the apartment the guests pick over photographs and again insult the absent Seymour even though Buddy has shown hospitality to them an offered them the use of the phone to call the bride’s family

* He seeks refuge in the bathroom and reads his brother’s diary and spots a message his sister has left with the quote ‘Raise the Roof Beam, Carpenters’ encouraging her brother to get married

* The diary reveals that Seymour is having difficulty reconciling himself with the idea of getting married to someone and sharing himself and his happiness and although the diary reveals doubts it does not include an intention to break off the relationship

* After leaving the bathroom the maid of honour comes off the phone and reveals that Seymour and the Bride have eloped and the reception is going ahead with relief all round

* Returning back to the diary Buddy reads his brother’s wish to elope and then falls asleep and wakes to find just a cigar end and a drinks tray as evidence that anyone was there at all

Tomorrow I’ll start on the other story – Seymour: an Introduction

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