Monday, February 16, 2009

Garp, Helen and the Under Toad

I'm still not sure why The World According to Garp was so significant to me.



I just know that to this day (I read the book probably 8-10 years ago) I still think about him. I wonder how Helen is doing. I still feel an ache for their lost boy. I think about that car crash on a weekly basis. I fear the Under Toad, and smell my son's breath waiting for it to change.

What book changed your life?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Garp. To me the book IS that moment of shock and terrible grief I felt when I realized that Walt had been killed in the crash. I remember sobbing uncontrollably once I got my breath back. But that empathetic sorrow did not prepare me for the real undertoad. Nothing can, and fearing it, anticipating it, only detracts from the joy of the moment.

My mom was a worrier. She could think of every possible disaster, and worry and warn about foreseeable and unforseeable dangers at all times. I used to quote to her the lines, "Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once." But honestly, I fight being that way myself. My philosophy is, take all reasonable precautions for being safe and well, for yourself and for your loved ones. And then just expect the best. Because this I KNOW is true: Whatever happens can't be faced until it happens. Don't look for it.

Houpley said...

I remember having to go back and re-read it because I could NOT believe it. I thought - did I miss something? Which I think was such literary genius because I think that is how you feel when you lose a loved one. It so very disturbing to the system - that it could not have just happened.
I agree you are never prepared for the real Undertoad. And now that I have a child, it seems the threat of Undertoad is even more frightening. But I agree with you. One should not borrow trouble. If you have read my older posts, one can see it is something I deal with regularly - I love to worry. And I have got to let that go or else I will miss life happening around me - and right now I am getting to enjoy the best parts. : )
Thank you for your words of wisdom! They were very thoughtful and appreciated.

Anonymous said...

ARP!

Houpley said...

anonymous2 - you must be missing your tongue?

Anonymous said...

Yes, Ellen James and I. But remember the father's last word?