Sunday, March 22, 2015

My Favorite [Living] Author

T. Coraghessan Boyle, in repose.
I just finished such a great book, The Road To Wellville, by T.C. Boyle. And I loved it so much I had to immediately pick up another one by him and dig right into it. It's called Talk Talk, and deals with the phenomenon of identity theft. And the same thing is happening -- I CANNOT put the thing down!
I've read several others by this guy and seriously, he is just dynamite.
The Road To Wellville was about Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, the inventor of corn flakes. Often Boyle will take a real historical person and create a barnburner of a novel about their life. God he is good.
He is everything I love about good writing. Clarity, substance, humor, suspense, pitch-perfect characters that you can believe in. Great dialogue. Witty, inventive.
I can't wait to get my hands on his newest novel, as yet unreleased. It's titled The Harder They Come. From what I understand, it deals with the current fad of amateur sniperism. Whatever topic Boyle handles, he always just nails it.
I mean… even with corn flakes. How can anyone make that interesting?
Boyle knows how.
Check out his awesome website -- HERE.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Splash du Jour: Wednesday

I do feel that literature should be demystified. What I object to is what is happening in our era: literature is only something you get at school as an assignment. No one reads for fun, or to be subversive or to get turned on to something. It's just like doing math at school. I mean, how often do we sit down and do trigonometry for fun, to relax. I've thought about this, the domination of the literary arts by theory over the past 25 years -- which I detest -- and it's as if you have to be a critic to mediate between the author and the reader and that's utter crap. Literature can be great in all ways, but it's just entertainment like rock'n'roll or a film. It is entertainment. If it doesn't capture you on that level, as entertainment, movement of plot, then it doesn't work. Nothing else will come out of it. The beauty of the language, the characterization, the structure, all that's irrelevant if you're not getting the reader on that level -- moving a story. If that's friendly to readers, I cop to it.
-- T.C. Boyle --

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

A Word About Expiry Dates

Tonight for supper I ate half a roasted chicken. Yes, with baked potato slathered with half a tub of sour cream…. and watched one of my favourite shows on TV, Dateline.
I think I ate too fast, though.
Because when I sat down afterwards to begin reading The Road To Wellville by T.C. Boyle -- whoa, I was struck with Level 5 heartburn. And most people usually die at just Level 4. Oh, it was bad. And so unexpected. I quickly scanned my options, in ascending order of how much I did not want to do any one of them. They were: a) getting in my car and driving to the drugstore for a remedy, b) calling 911 for an ambulance, and c) just dying.
But then a fourth option presented itself. Several years ago I would get heartburn on a regular basis, and Gaviscon© was always the thing that knocked it right out of the park. I wondered if there was any of that stuff still in my fridge. I hobbled over and amazingly, way at the back, there it was. A lone, glorious bottle. I grabbed it and checked the expiry date. It said, "November, 2012."
This tells you a few things about me, I guess. One of which is that I do not clean out my fridge very often. For instance, the current discovery was nestled behind a jar of hot-dog relish, circa late 1990's. Anyhoo, I twisted off the crusted over lid of the out-dated Gaviscon and emptied it into my human volcano. And amazingly, five minutes later I felt like a million bucks. I almost wanted to instantly eat more chicken! Or have a beer!
So I just wanted to let you know -- at least when it comes to antacids, expiry dates are not to be taken too seriously. This ancient Gaviscon put me right back onto The Road to Wellville.