Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bathroom Monologue: Admissions About Literature

-The first time I read Richard Matheson’s “Duel” was on a train. A third of the way through the story, I looked behind me to see if a truck was following.
-I cried reading the ending of Lord of the Rings… for the sixth time. I was fine the first five times.
-The first and only time I’ve read John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath from end to end wasn’t actually reading at all, but listening to it on audio cassettes while playing WWF: No Mercy on the Nintendo 64, day after day during a Spring break in high school. That’d teach my A.P. English teacher to assign a giant tome over vacation.
-Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass was the first book I recognized as too deep and required putting off until I was older (until then I only ran into books that were full of crap).
-Erma Bombeck’s humorous column about handling a prosthetic breast was my introduction to cancer.
-I spent my entire first read through J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye wishing it would go faster so I could start Thomas Harris’s Hannibal Lecter series. My next homework assignment featured a droll Holden Caulfield strolling through various scenes of Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, too passive, cynical and full of himself to be interested or afraid. My teacher did not give me credit for the assignment. This began my three-year struggle with the definition of “parody.”
-I thought Terry Pratchett was a girl and J.K. Rowling was a guy.
-I read Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret (okay, again listened to the audiobook) several times during my adolescence and pubescence. I understood it less as I got older.
-Dean Koontz’s Fear Nothing is the only book I’ve thrown across the room three times. It holds first place for fiction throwing, but second place for all books, behind the nine times I’ve thrown one particular book of Sudoku across the room.
-I still mix up whether Ethan Frome or Edith Wharton was the author.
-I took Dante’s Inferno out into the middle of a windy field as a thunderstorm was setting in and tried reading some of the descriptions of torments, to see how it would feel. It was really damned cool.
-I don’t remember the title of the first book I finished and immediately went back to the first page to re-read, but it was about dinosaurs.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Counter est. March 2, 2008