Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Books, Boobs and Candy

The problem with reading good, well-written books is that it makes it extremely frustrating to read books that are bad and poorly written. I’m about a hundred and forty pages deep into one of the worst books I’ve read in a very long time. I wish I could be more like my friend Cristy who can put a bad book down after only 10 pages. I’m a glutton for punishment and force myself through any book I begin—no matter the cost. All because a book is deemed a classic does not mean that it is good. It took me three attempts to get through the tragedy of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (my least favourite book ever). Why are kids in America always forced to read that Nathaniel Hawthorne bore: The Scarlet Letter?

The train wreck I am on this week is Valhalla Rising by Clive Cussler. The book’s cover credits him as being the “Grandmaster of Adventure.” Cussler came highly recommended by my friend, Nicole, who also recommended two amazing books, The Egypt Game and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. These two books, while written for young readers, have become two of my favourites and have prized positions on my bookshelf. Maybe I just picked a Cussler bomb. Everyone is entitled to a bad day. Right? I’m working hard to finish this book by Friday. Anyone who wants it after that can have it free of charge. Gotta get the stink out of my house.

Granted, I’m only 140 pages into the book. There are still 400 pages remaining for the author to redeem himself. I deserve a good story after all of the good ol’ boy banter and cliché expressions I’ve had to endure so far. The worst yet:

(Referring to a mysterious briefcase)

‘You say that after all that, it was empty?’

‘As a bank vault after Butch Cassidy rode out of town.’

I’m not getting my hopes up too high. I waited 600 pages for something interesting to happen in John Grisham’s The Chamber, and it never did.

I have a sweet tooth for pop candy, and the fodder doesn’t get any sweeter than when it comes from Candy herself. I admit that I’ve been intrigued by the open letters that Candy Spelling (wife of the late Aaron and mother of Tori) has been posting on the internet at to Paris Hilton, Joe Francis, and Britney Spears. It is just a bit bizarre. Well, another member of the Spelling family snatched a headline today as well as my attention. The afore mentioned, Tori Spelling, 90210’s Donna and star of Trick, is now an ordained minister. You can’t make this stuff up! She received her ordination last week online and will soon get her certificate in the mail. He reason for joining the ministry was to perform weddings at her bed and breakfast, Chateau La Rue, in California. Her first wedding was held over the weekend. She officiated a gay wedding in a state where same-sex marriage isn’t legal. Civil disobedience?

In other wedding news, my friend Celeste gets to be a bridesmaid in an upcoming wedding. I know what you’re thinking: Let’s see the hideous dress! Well here is:

She gets to don this beauty (or seriously the ugliest dress you have ever seen) in silver. Yes, folks, silver. In Celeste’s own words, “Who looks good in silver?” Not me and not you. I’d give anything to see Cel in this impossible-to-wear-a-bra-with dress. Her boobs are enormous. I’m hoping for a wardrobe malfunction that will leave her boobs hanging to her knees for everyone to see.

Celeste, bless you heart.


The 27th Comrade said...

You've got passionate expression, especially on crappy pop stars ... the mania is nearly solid.

Now I wish your blog was less of a uni-directional rantdom ... I mean, yeah, we comment, but sometimes I hang around waiting for the comment to the comment ...

On to the meat:
We share the perversion of never ever putting down a book once through page 10. You know, that makes me select my books very, very judiciously. And that has even seeped into the genres. For example, I know that magic realism will usually never be written by crappy writers, so I end up enjoying the South American demi-gods of the pen. :o)

With a dash of Rushdie for good measure. ;o)

If you read John Grisham, you deserve your punishment. May a thousand fleas fall down on you from heaven.

But ... I once spat at a Lois Battle novel, last year, A Habit of the Blood, and I reached 200/400 thanking the margins for being so healthily-big ... then stuff got so much fun that I hated to finish it. I really wish those first 200 had been put at the end.

Timothy said...

Thanks for your feedback and comments.

I also have to select my book judiciously, but sometimes I choose badly.

Some books take a while to get good (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon takes about 100 pages. It's a great book and went on to win a Pulitzer), but some book never do.

I've continued with Cussler today. It has gone from bad to worse. It's so bad that I've convinced myself that it was meant to be a humorous book and I find myself laughing at its awfulness.

Baz said...

Hah hah! Clive Cussler is not to be put aside lightly. He must be hurled away with great force.

Or whatever she said. I don't know the quote correctly.

But Timothy, I am not laughing with you, I am laughing at you.

Cussler? What were you thinking?!

Timothy said...


I went into the whole Cussler thing ignorantly. He was recommended by someone I trusted. I think she was getting some kind of revenge. I'm plowing through. It's not been easy, but I'm making progress--only 100 pages to go!