Tuesday, July 14, 2009
My Review: Benny & Shrimp
Have you ever listen to a friend complain about a significant other and wondered what the other side of the story was? Benny & Shrimp is the other side of the story. It is the story of two lonely middle-aged people who meet in the graveyard. She is there visiting the grave of her husband; he is there visiting his parents. She calls their plot "The Forest" because of all the plants and she finds the gravestone gaudy and overdone. He finds her husband's plot to be devoid of all personality and the marker to be akin to a surveyor's stone. Still, there is chemistry between them. She is a librarian who loves her job, particularly the parts that involve children. Her wardrobe tends toward beige, and her apartment (they live in Sweden) is white, and the decorative items, what few there are; are modern and spare. She loves culture and the urban lifestyle. He is a farmer. He dresses like one and lives in an old farmhouse that looks much like it did fifty years ago. His only reads are farming magazines.
In the book they alternate chapters, so you get to hear about the same event from both viewpoints. Despite their sexual attraction it is obvious these two have vastly different tastes in people, entertainment and life goals. It is amusing listening to them both talk about a night at the opera, and sad listening to them describe the morning she refused to help with with a needed chore. It gets you thinking about what love really is--and isn't.
As far as sexual content, well, while it is noted that they have sex, it isn't a book that gives blow-by-blow descriptions of the act. If you want a book that reflects Christian sexual morality, this isn't it.
It is a relatively short novel, just over 200 pages; I enjoyed it and recommend it.