The first time I read Taking Woodstock was one year ago. At first, I didn’t know this novel until a professor of our department introduced it in front of the class in the welcome party for the freshmen. He took this book as a material to teach us how to improve one’s ability on reading English novels. Besides, Taking Woodstock was related to a famous music festival- Woodstock Music and Art Fair. It must be interesting to me to understand its history; plus, its movie directed by Ang Lee would be released recently. How wonderful! Therefore, I bought the book on-line at once.
However, I gave up reading Taking Woodstock after 2 months. First, the beginning of narration didn’t appeal to me. Only complaining of the main character(the author) overflew pages and pages. It’s so difficult for me to understand how miserable one’s life was, and neither is his. Second, so many unfamiliar names of artists jumped out. This really depressed me. With poor knowledge on art, how could I understand the feeling of the author when he recalled this memory? Third, during reading, I almost fell asleep, and then, I forgot words I read before! The last but not at least, After my friend’s recommendation on reading Norwegian Wood written by Haruki Murakami, I’ve strongly desired to read it for more than one year. In November, 2009, I stopped reading Taking Woodstock. It’s too hard for me to endure such slow reading progress.
Not until did I get the chance to urge myself to read more English novels in this semester, I chose Taking Woodstock for my second reading.
Interestingly, reading Cathedral of the Sea(Chinese Version) in the last summer vacation enables me to understand a little bit of the feeling of being a Jew of the author of Taking Woodstock. What a good news to reread this book in a good start!
Nevertheless, I once wanted to read another novel instead of it, for I fell asleep again! But this time, in my belief, I will finish this book!
Nothing can stop me!
Taking Woodstock Reading 2 2010.10.26
Bad news! I’m still reading it- only finishing three chapters(~p.44.) As a matter of fact, there are 215 pages and 12+1 chapters(because the last one is an epilogue. At a rough estimate, if I’m positive enough, I should be glad I read one-fifth content. Ha! Ha! How ridiculous I am to have such thought.
Okay. Not to mentioned above, Chapter 3, My “Other” Life, shocked me. It’s talking about the homosexual life of author in his teenage period. I couldn’t imagine how his life was at that time. In the story, the author found out something true in a theater he was used to going to and that was how he realized his sexual orientation(I guess……) Well, I wasn’t mean to offense the homosexual, but this part really shocked me. Please forgive my poor, ridiculous innocence……
Taking Woodstock 3(p.45~p.144) 2010.10.31
Great! I overcome the wordless obstacles! The speed of reading it becomes faster. Moreover, the good news is I found out that the issue of the homosexual in 60s was the main part in the story. The two authors of this novel (sorry to give wrong number of the authors last time) spend plenty of time explaining considerately to those readers like me who aren’t familiar with that issue. But due to the explanation may bore us, they didn’t make the story in an organized line. They made the story like the main role’s recalling so that we will have the common sense before reading from Chapter 5 to Epilogue, the progress of Taking Woodstock.
I only found this truth after reading Chapter 5; and now I will keep reading the rest of Taking Woodstock. After finishing, I will tell you how I feel to this book. :)
Taking Woodstock 4 (p.144~Finished) 2010.11.7
At the very start, I didn’t like reading this book because of not only its unattractive beginning but numerous difficult words; plus I didn’t know why Elliot Tiber, the author, spent so much time on writing his youth, family, homosexual life, job etc. To sum up, my first impression of Taking Woodstock was boring. Well, you may (or must) suggest me that I throw this novel aside and choose another one more interesting than it. However, I was too stubborn to hear any words due to a reason- keeping my promise to finish reading Taking Woodstock whatever happened. I deeply believed that I would find something unexpected. In fact, I did find that thing!
Before reading Chapter Five Stonewall and the Seeds of Liberation, I seemed to be almost numb in Elliot’s miserable and cursed life as he had stuck in it. Both of us like a cornered beast was still fighting for the light of hope. Well, I mean I got no point of Taking Woodstock as Elliot Tiber saw no future under the Teichberg Curse. However, from Chapter five, an uncertainty, which might be called liberation by others but had another meaning to me, had started to reveal out. The Woodstock Festival brought Elliot to life: he was finally “accepted” by his family and released from the Teichberg Curse by several influential figures who were parts of the festival. At last, Elliot as a mature butterfly broke through the cocoon, flying to his new beautiful future.
To me, the uncertainty means that Taking Woodstock is an advice from a loyal friend. By the time I saw how Elliot’s life changed and how he grew up by this event, I was deeply touched. First of all, Elliot was a nobody before the Woodstock Festival. He was born in an ordinary way, received a bachelor like other students, worked in New York and so on. He had never imagined that a festival would bring dramatic changes to his life. Second, Elliot struggled for his life no matter what he met, even the cruel reality waiting in front of him. His never-give-up spirit inspired me to insist on what I would like to achieve. The last but not at least, Taking Woodstock persuades me that I have the chance and to create my future because of its truthfulness of the story and plain narration, as a faithful friend giving you some advice without decorated words. That is why I call Taking Woodstock a loyal friend.
Consequently, although I put too much effort and time on reading the novel, I’m still delighted in learning from Taking Woodstock.