Saturday, November 20, 2010

Been a while...

Someone pointed out to me that I was writing a lot about e-books and related issues which I took as a sign that they were tired of it, too. So I stopped for a bit and spent some time devaluing the rest of my opinions as well. I'll try to stay away from e-books, at least for a while.

When I was a kid if I wanted to go to a book store I'd have to hop on a city bus, transfer once, then walk a bit, and I could get to a shopping mall with a B. Dalton in it. I remember picking up "Doorways in the Sand" by Roger Zelazny and giggling like an out of control stoner on the bus ride home as I read the first chapter. Imagine a young teenaged boy on a city bus, laughing so hard but trying desperately not to make a sound, tears streaming down a bright orange face, body vibrating faster than the bus's big diesel. Couldn't have been pretty.

I just had nearly the same experience but this time as an adult and safely in the privacy of my own home. Steve Hely's "How I Became a Famous Novelist" is funny. Very funny. The first hundred pages are really, really funny.

It's sort of a combination Nick Hornby, Brock Clarke's "An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England," and another third just plain funny. To a book person, the fictional bestseller list on the back cover is hilarious by itself.

The title tells the basic plot, the comparison to Hornby and Clarke indicate a bit more if you're familiar with them, and the book itself just won the 2010 Thurber Prize. I don't really know what that is but since Thurber is a famous humorist and this book is really funny, I can guess.

So not so much a review as an endorsement. If you want to laugh out loud, really, while reading a book, pick it up. If you're a bibliophile or anything close, it'll be just that much better. Just keep the beverages in the fridge while you're reading. We all know they come out the wrong places when we're not properly prepared.


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