Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wasted Read


I saw a huge stack of paperbacks by the corner of the leasing office in my apartment community when I stopped by to pay my rent a few days ago. I asked Cheryl about them and she said "Someone left them here. Go ahead and see if there is anything you want to take".


That was in irresistible offer except that the books were all drugstore romance novels. After spending a good twenty minutes going through sixty odd books it seemed unfair that I could not find even one to take home and so I selected a Harold Robbins number - The Predators. The blurb said it was the best of A Stone For Danny Fisher and The Carpetbaggers. I had read both in my early teens and seemed to remember liking them. I figured something that had a little of both could not be too bad. I was clearly acting out of childhood nostalgia.


The book proved impossible to read. The action was choppy and incoherent and chapters ended in a couple of pages as characters bounced around haphazardly in space and time. The sex was as crude as it was gratuitous. Even as I griped inwardly, I reminded myself that I should not have expected any better. However, I seemed to recall a much slower pace and a real storyline in Danny Fisher. I skipped chapters entirely to see if the threads would come together but that did not work either.

In about an hour I gave up and went to sleep. Not only was time wasted but it blighted memories of books I had enjoyed as a teen. When the time comes, I want to introduce J to the books I liked growing up and now I wonder if that would be prudent Danny Fisher had been on that list. Maybe, I should revisit my entire list and see what still makes the grade.

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