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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book 'im, Dan-o

I heart books

I read a book this weekend. Now, that’s not all that unusual – I read a lot of books. I love books. I live for books. Going to the library is like going to church – it’s quiet, it’s introspective, it’s enlightening.

I love to peruse the stacks – wandering from fiction to non-fiction and back again. My favorite thing to do, though, is to let my eyes flick across the spines of the new fiction section – reading the titles and trying to discern which of those beauties is coming home with me for a while.

I totally judge books by their covers. Well. I use the jacket descriptions, too.

Anyway – for the most part, I do all right. I’m generally pleased with my selections, although there have been a few stinkers here and there. I HATE to not finish a book. Even if I don’t love it, I always want to finish it.

That is – I did, until this weekend.

I picked up a novel – I’m not even going to tell you the name of it, because I’d rather shoot needles into my eyeballs than in any way recommend that you read it.  I was staggered by the fact that someone published this novel – it was so bad. The plot was twisted, but not in a good way. The characters were one-dimensional and trite. The setting was undefined and boring. I felt like I had a handle on the twists, though – I figured out the antagonist fairly quickly – thought I understood the motivation for the dastardly deeds, and then…in the second to last chapter...

…out of absolutely nowhere…not a hint…not a clue…

ASTEROID on a COLLISION COURSE with the EARTH.

YES. That is what I said.

There was never any indication that asteroids were even going to be considered. It was not an asteroid kind of novel. It was like the guy got to chapter 20 and realized he had no way to wrap up his mystery and was listening to a little Aerosmith and went all Armageddon on it.

And people? I was righteously pissed. I couldn’t go to sleep. All I could think about was that this guy…this complete dork had gotten paid for that novel – is probably still getting residuals and some kind of income from its sale. Not only that, but that some one had been paid as a reviewer and actually wrote something along the lines of “an author in line to take the place of John Grisham.”

Oh. Mah. Gah.

John Grisham should sue that reviewer for libel.

I did the only thing I could do. I flung the book on the floor next to my bed and tweeted my displeasure. Then I headed to my own personal library stacks and picked up “To Kill a Mockingbird,” in order to cleanse my brain of that other book.

And there I found the sweet nectar of literary genius. I found such nuggets as this:

His sermon was a forthright denunciation of sin, an austere declaration of the motto on the wall behind him: he warned his flock against the evils of heady brews, gambling, and strange women. Bootleggers caused enough trouble in the Quarters, but women were worse. Again, as I had often met it in my own church, I was confronted with the Impurity of Women doctrine that seemed to preoccupy all clergymen.

Sigh.

Thank you, Ms. Lee. While I’ll never understand how you only wrote one novel, I’m forever in your debt for the one you penned…

No asteroids required.