Thursday, September 12, 2013

My fiction mood

My reaction to the fiction section is a very good barometer of my mood. If I am dazzled by the bewildering and sophisticated magic of the literature on display, the testaments to art at a profound level far surpassing our thin notions of God, then I should be okay. But when I am shelving my way through fiction and become convinced, in reading jacket quotes, synopsis, bios, epigraphs, dedications, and stray passages, that though I am encountering hundreds of different authors, hundreds of different books, it is all, in reality, one book, over and over, with a few unimportant changes between each of them, then I know I am in trouble for the day. I should seek out quiet places as often as possible and just...

sit there.

The one book? How is it described? This is it:

Fusing tragedy and hope in this heart wrenching masterpiece is only part of so and so's brilliance. This (Pulitzer, Booker, National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner award) winning author has crafted a narrative that explores the deepest meanings of what it is to be human. So and so takes us on a journey down to the souls of characters that are beyond our love and hate while evoking both. This book and it's small/large fictional town/city of Whatsit will stand testament to the power of evocation and to the mastery of one of our greatest living authors. This book and the characters of Whatsit, will live forever in the shattered remains of your heart.

No, really, some days they're all like this, and I either want to read them, or hide under the stairs. It's under the stairs today for me.

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