Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Noontime Book Chat: Miles from Nowhere by Nami Mun (Day 3)

Yesterday at Pop Culture Junkie we discussed Joon's descent into drug addiction, her violent outbursts, and some particular scenes where the line between reality and hallucination was very blurred.

Today, we'll be discussing the middle chapters entitled With A Boy, Avon and Frank - right here.

With a Boy was quite short and delved deeper into the consequences of Joon's drug use, specifically how it affected her roommate/love interest Blue Fly. What did you think about the fact that she didn't mind Blue Fly selling himself, but when she thinks he's cheating on her with his nurse, she flips out? We also see how her personal hygiene suffers and I found it amusing/sad how impressed she is with a shower full of assorted scented shampoos.

Avon is a long chapter dealing with Joon's Avon job (I was surprised that no one at the squatter apartment stole her samples!) and her unwanted pregnancy. This chapter has a lot of unpleasant content - what made you the most queasy?

Frank is another short chapter - one scene at a narcotics anonymous meeting (I assume that's what it is). Joon is in rehab for her drug use and meets Frank who claims to have been sober for 462 days yet he immediately invites Joon to go out drinking with him. Do you think he would've really gone through with it? What did you think of Frank saying Joon wasn't even close to being done with drugs? Do you feel hopeful for Joon at this point?

Ok, time to get chatting!

Scheldule reminder

Monday was at: J Kaye's Book Blog
Tuesday was at: Pop Culture Junkie
Wednesday is: here
Thursday will be at: Worducopia
Friday will be at: All four blogs!

20 comments:

Ali said...

I haven't read Frank yet...I'll go catch up in a minute here.

The interesting thing about the nurse is that the boy turned out to be her son--so the affection Joon was seeing between them was parent-child affection. Given her situation, it made sense to me that she freaked to see Blue Fly getting that from someone else.

I haven't quite finished Avon yet, (I fell asleep in the middle of it last night and my younger son and I both woke up needing tea for our sore throats, and then I got distracted) but I thought it was more funny than disturbing. The nun scene cracked me up. Wimpy cracked me up. And then I fell asleep.

Alea said...

Avon had some of my favorite passages and some passages I almost couldn't read. I really liked the Nun- I found that whole idea so mysterious, like something you would see in a movie and hope one day to encounter in real life. Probably my favorite part of the book. But the stuff with her pregnancy and the guy and the tree. I don't even want to think about!

I just finished reading the Q&A Ali just linked to over on yesterday's chat. Rather informative!

Lenore said...

Ooh I still need to read that.

I agree that the nun part was hilarious/sad (like a lot of passages in this book).

I found it interesting that if someone didn't buy something from her and just "wasted" her time, she had to steal something from them!

Lenore said...

The Vodka on a tampon thing made me queasy (as did guy impaled by tree). A friend of mine from Norway told me that some farmer kids in Norway did the vodka tampon thing to get drunk faster. Sounds painful to me.

Alea said...

Yeah! I guess she figured they owed her something for her time? What did you guys make of the nun's daughter and the super coming in to her apartment?

Alea said...

I know! Eww. And the pounded on her stomach to try and kill her baby! :(

J. Kaye Oldner said...

I just mentioned on Alea's post earlier that I had a problem with the believability when it comes to Mun's description of addiction. The Frank thing wasn't realistic.

And what about the nurse? Would you let a homeless person in your home to shower? I'd be scared they wouldn't leave...lol!

About "...Blue Fly selling himself, but when she thinks he's cheating on her with his nurse, she flips out..." That part made sense. It's like hookers who have boyfriends. It's okay if it's for money, but the minute feelings are involved, a line has been crossed. Sounds insane, but that what I've heard.

Alea said...

I think the nurse probably only let her in because she was so young. I imagined Joon looking even younger than she actually is too.

Lenore said...

I was actually thinking about how much her asian identity really has to do with the story... the character is korean, but would the story be exactly the same if she were part of another ethnic group? Maybe you could say, most asians are smaller than average, and maybe that's why the nurse felt "safe" enough to invite her in. What was that thing about her not finding her purse though? Did you get the feeling that she was blaming Joon?

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Alea, maybe so, but I am just not that trusting. And I had to laugh at the son acting like she was a stray cat or something.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Lenore! I forgot about the purse. That was odd.

Alea said...

LOL J. Kaye. I'm not trusting either! I guess when it comes to books and movies I see them as an alternate reality where things happen that would never happen in my world. I guess that doesn't really work when i'm reading fiction that is supposed to be reality based. I have no idea what i'm talking about...

Ali said...

OK, I just finished Frank, but first:

I must be deranged because the guy impaling himself on the tree also cracked me up. The irony of it killed me.

Ali said...

I'm pretty sure Blue Fly stole her purse. Remember when Joon told the nurse to watch her keys?

Alea said...

The thing about the tree ewwwww! I can't even think about it!

Lenore said...

Ah, well then she probably would blame Joon then since she knows the two are friends. Guilt by association.

J. Kaye Oldner said...

Ali - Bingo! Didn't think of him. :)

Lenore said...

The tree thing reminded me of the kind of impaling Vlad the Impaler did while he was ate raw meat. I wish I had never heard those stories when I visited Romania a couple years back. (And speaking of Romania - Joon's life is a picnic compared to street children in Bucharest).

Ali said...

OK, now about Frank: Whether it's realistic or not, I have no idea, but I loved this chapter. More irony, for one thing. But also, I loved the relief she felt when he told her she was going to screw up. "Hope was based on the unknown, and I liked knowing things. Like that I was going to fail." Makes total sense to me.

The things he said about being more real when he was using, I get that. A lot of AA is talking the talk until you feel it. Frank isn't feel it, and he knows Joon isn't either. And the offer to go get a drink made sense to me, too. In the memoir Tweak, Nic Sheff and his girlfriend left at least one NA meeting to get high.

Lenore said...

It was touching that that she wasn't yet ready to dash the hopes of the staff at the hospital and that her excuse was that she liked the sugar cookies.