Monday, October 25, 2010

Francesca Lia Block's Supreme Weirdness

When I decided to wipe my reading slate clean and start completely over, I really didn't have a preconceived notion of what I would pick up next. No mental checklist, no hovering idea leftover from my last bit of shelf browsing.

I knew I'd found my next book when Weetzie walked in. Specifically, a collection of Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat books all in one volume. The five books included in this volume are: Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, and Baby Be-Bop.

I've heard little bits of information about the Weetzie Bat books for years, and even though I've loved everything I've read by Francesca Lia Block, something still kept me from picking them up. OK, I admit it, I was put off by the weird title. When this pretty cover landed in my mailbox I couldn't resist any longer.

So far I'm about 60 pages in, and it's just what I need--a fast read with plenty of quirk. I've always described Block's writing as kind of floaty, ethereal, otherworldly, and this collection is no different. Weetzie lives with her best friend Dirk and his boyfriend Duck in L.A. The whole shabang reminds me of a punk rock video swirled in fairy dust. The dialogue is Sixteen Candles on crack.

My only hesitation is whether or not I can handle this much lingo and oddity for a whole five books (478 pages). Time will tell!

Have you read the Weetzie Bat books? What about other Block titles?

10 comments:

  1. Eek! I just finished reading all five Weetzie Bat books and reviewing them on my blog. It's nice to see someone else picking them up!

    I enjoyed re-reading them and taking a trip down memory lane. And remembering why I loved Witch Baby so much.

    I especially enjoyed reading Baby Be-Bop, in light of recent events.

    As much as I enjoyed re-reading Dangerous Angels though my favorite Block still has to be Violet and Claire with I Was A Teenage Fairy coming in at a close second.

    I liked what you said about Block's writing being like a punk rock video swirled in fairy dust. So true! Hope you enjoy Dangerous Angels. Just take it one book at a time.

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  2. I read this one last year and enjoyed it although I never got around to reviewing it. Maybe I should do a mini review at some point...hmmm. Anyways, this is all to say that it is weird but weird in a good way. Definitely a book that you could take your time with and sneak a graphic novel in between stories. Hope you enjoy!

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  3. I haven't read any of them yet, but I'm going to be reading them soon and I'm so excited about it!! Debi and I are doing a mutual challenge next year and she picked this as one of my books :D

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  4. I guessing you'll gladly put up with the oddity for all 478 pages...they're just so good! I love, love, love her beautiful quirky writing, but it's the stories that really got me. Hope you end up enjoying them all as much as I did!!!

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  5. I read all of these back in the spring and while I liked some, others I liked less, perhaps because I read them all in a row, I don't know. I don't think so, though.

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  6. I haven't read the Weezie Bat books yet though at least one is on my TBR since it's a banned book. Happy reading!

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  7. I enjoyed all the books collected in Dangerous Angels. They make a dreamy world of their own.

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  8. Bitsy, I'm really enjoying the Witch Baby section! I didn't think I would given that she's such a little twit at times, but I really am understanding her more than I thought I would. I was pulling for Weetzie and Secret Agent Lover Man in the first book, so I wasn't sure how I felt about WB bursting onto the scene.

    Samantha, definitely weird in a good way. That's typically my response to all of Block's writing. I also have The Frenzy staring me down from the shelves.

    Chris, ohhhh you need to! So so so so good. Better with every installment in this omnibus.

    Debi, they just get deeper and more affecting as I read. Such a surprise given the lighthearted style of writing.

    Amanda, I'm blowing through them as if they're all one book. Somehow I think if they were actually separate printed books I would psyche myself out and not read them all in a row. As it is, they're just like chapters. I'm all about fooling myself!

    Vasilly, I can see why they would be intimidating to the sort of folk that would ban books. Risque stuff in there for the time! The fact that they've been banned or challenged just makes them all the more attractive to moi!

    Amen, Jeanne! Dreamy is the perfect word.

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  9. It's been years since I read the Weetzie bat books. I think I actually read them in high school. I remember enjoying them for their weirdness but I can't remember any particulars!

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  10. I've only read the first Weetzie Bat book, and I really enjoyed the tone of it, but never went on to the later ones (oddly). I think I was afraid that it could only go downhill from there. But it doesn't?

    And what about her other books? What do you recommend?

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