Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

That Sickly Smile

I avoid recommending books to friends.

That is, I avoid hearty, "You just gotta read this!" recommendations to friends. Tastes are too varied. Two people might love Book A, and totally disagree on Book B. If possible, I limit my recommendations to loosely phrased suggestions: "I like Book A. You might want to give it a try."

Above all things I avoid following up with an eager, "Well, didja like it? Huh, huh, huh?" I've been on the receiving end of that question too many times.

Back in college a boyfriend insisted that I must read Steven Donaldson's, Lord Foul's Bane, comparing it to LOTR. "It's a great book" blah, blah, blah.

I struggled through about 100 pages before giving up. Ordinarily, I would have given up far earlier, but this was supposedly a great book. The protagonist was a despicable, tedious whiner who rapes a young woman a few pages along. I love anti-heroes, but a component of "anti-hero" is "hero." Most of the book was buried in description, a la, "It's a novel; it's a tour guide." I think this book had the dubious distinction of being the first I could not finish. (Since then I've chuck many a book for far less sins.)

About three weeks later boyfriend, eyes puppy dog eager, asks, "Well, what do you think?"

I squirm and say with a sickly smile, "Uh, it's, uh, interesting. Yeah. It's, uh, good." (Back then, I wasn't quite so free with my opinion. I was nice.)

"Yeah," he says. "I knew you'd like it."

I think, Really? You thought I'd like a novel about a self-pitying asshat rapist? What about me led you to think I'd like this vile novel?

"I have the next two books," he says, cheerfully.

"Cool." Good God, there's more?

This went on for a few months, during which he must have concluded I was the world's slowest reader. Mercifully, I dumped him before I had to fess up.

His taste in books should have been an early wake up call.

(I love my J-man. He's going through a Harry Potter kick; re-reading earlier books in anticipation of Half-Blood Prince. So cute. Yes, you can judge a man by his literary taste.)

Pat K.


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