The Big Think

June 14, 2006

Current Reading

Filed under: Current Reading — jasony @ 12:55 am

I finally screwed up the courage to read something Good For Me. After seeing The Strike on bookshelves for years, and knowing that it was one of those seminal books that everyone says is Important (but that few actually read), I picked up a copy at the library and decided to wade through the 1000+ pages of teeny tiny print.

I had no idea what the book was about, and decided to avoid reading anything about it at all- no reviews, no Amazon synopsis. I even decided to forgo the jacket notes. Instead, I plowed into the tome with no idea of where it was heading. Usually, a book this big is split into several books (ala Lord of the Rings), but this thing has no fear of being a brick. It is not ashamed of its tomedom; its 6 point type mocks other books and it wastes no pity on the weak of forearm. It says: You think you’re man enough to read me? I dare you. For normal books I can usually dash off 150-200 pages at a sitting, but I count my ration taken if I can get through 50 pages of The Strike per night- not because it’s dull, but because it’s dense. Next to the Bible, it’ll be the biggest single-bound book I’ve ever read, and I confess to some intimidation when I started it. I wondered if I could finish it, or if it would be good enough to hold my attention. Or- more frightening- if I would be smart enough to let it be good, without falling into the false pretensions of pretending to understand a Great Work just because I’d feel dumb confessing that I didn’t get it.

But darn it if this thing hasn’t grabbed my attention and held on tight. I’m actually enjoying the story that rushes along like a speeding train. There are probably secondary and tertiary Deep Aspects to it that I’m missing, but I find myself drawn to the characters and philosophies. The author threshes out competing world views that are at war with each other today just as much as they were back in 1957 when it was written. I’m less than a third of the way through and just finished the first act, but I’m finally confident that I’ll complete it.

It’s nice to rediscover that something Good For Me can also be, you know, good. Even the cover is quality. I wonder if the artist designs backdrops?


Filed under: Humor and Fun — jasony @ 12:26 am

Thanks a lot James. Now this is going to give me bad dreams.

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