So I read Memoirs of a Geisha this week – I started it Wednesday afternoon and finished it Thursday night, because it was utterly riveting. It’s astonishing and humbling to realize how few options women had in Depression- and World War II-era Japan; it’s disturbing to read about human cruelty, both from master to servant and between rivals; it’s fascinating (albeit in a sometimes horrific way) to learn about what being a geisha really entails, mentally, emotionally, and physically. The book is beautifully written; my only problems are the sudden vault over several years after the first few are described in great detail and the too-quick-and-tidy fairy-tale dénoument. I definitely recommend it.
And last night I saw Star Trek, which was just fun. I enjoyed the inside jokes (the ones I caught, anyway) and I loved the freaking awesome introduction to James T. Kirk accompanied by the wild shrieks of “Sabotage.” I liked the actors a lot and thought most of them did a great job. The one who played Dr. McCoy was especially good – he’s quite the doppelganger for the older Dr. McCoy. However, I didn’t like Nero’s explanation to Captain Pike; it felt really contrived, and it bugs me when villains inexplicably share their evil master plans with their hostages. I also wonder why Captain Kirk so frequently found himself dangling from precipices – surely there are other ways of indicating mortal danger – and why the foot-stompin’ Romulan was so slow and had such terrible aim.