Sunday Archive XIX: Notes on a book review

From February of 2007.  This picks up from mysterious and long lost commuter train notes.  No idea where I was going with it… Though I did mention that high school walk home again in the recent post, Train Town.

For a city kid whose definition of country is having a half acre, wooded backyard in Silver Spring, MD, it was something to go wandering down those tracks.  At the end of the semester, those glorious June days in DC, getting your last exam at 1pm and then leaving campus for the walk home through the woods where you could just be away from all the trouble of being, you know, alive and shit, was as good as it got.  Unless it was actually possible to fuck the hell out of this girl I had a crush on but, here in my adulthood, I fully understand that things like that never would have happened and, in fact, Tanja was simply a figment of my imagination.  As was Melissa, Lindsey and other unattainable women.

Being an algebra final, it only took me 40 minutes to fail it, but we were required to sit at our desks for the full two hours regardless.  Pining for that walk home almost as much as I was pining for the Dr. Pepper and Celeste Pizza and trashy B-movie rented from Video 99 at the end of that walk, I settled down for my 80 minute internment with Different Seasons.  I was on the Stand By Me story. (which is called “The Body.”  See?  I’m not a snooty reader…I really am one of you.)

For a mind that feeds on and constantly desires escape, reading that story was a major moment in my liternamary eduakation.  Primarily because it was followed by that walk of mine.

King had this sort of influence in my life for quite a while.  So I don’t jump all over Cell just because I think he’s beneath me.  He’s the master of horror.  It’s probably best to say, simply, that I was disappointed.  Because, of course, King can do better.  He has done better.  The expanded, uncut version of The Stand – that great monster of a book – devoured my life for a week.  It was leader of the apocalypse novels…and I love apocalypse novels.  Mainly because I hate all of you and I want you to die.

My concern is how the hell is King doing it?  Is he the overmind of some sort of literary Pulse? We pick up the book and our eyes go slack and we start to utter gibberish?  If that’s the case, he’s dangerous and we need to kill him.  The Senate and the People of Rome declare him an enemy and he should be killed on site.

So I’m disappointed.  So what?  I still read through it, and enjoyed it at that base level.  I had to enjoy it after I stopped reading though.  Take a break, close the book and pretend that I was in the situation with people who behaved normally.

This isn’t unique to Cell.  I get this quite a bit in the fantasy/horror/sci-fi genres.  There’s that wonderfully promising apocalypse story and, hey, the characters are idiots.  We all have that – screaming out to the chick in the horror movie not to open that door, or go into that dark house, or to stop to take a shower after being chased by a maniac for an hour.

I’m sensitive to this phenomena in literature, as well, being a reader and, now, *flashing lights* an internationally famous publisher! (Girls – if you want to sleep with me, please send an email to janus_808@hotmail.  If you’re good in bed, I’ll publish your retarded book about how your father raped you and you’ll be famous!  I swear!)

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