Saturday, September 01, 2007

What I am NOT reading!

I watch this comedy show quite regularly - Two and a Half Men. Two brothers who live in the same house, one of them has a son (the half man is the son). I one of the episodes, this young boy has a book report to do on a classic novel - "Lord of the Flies" by William Golding. This is the first time I had heard of this book. In Indian schools we don't do book reports, reading books is for losers. (Or at least you'd think so judging by the percentage that reads anything other than textbooks.)

Anyhow, the father is explaining to the son how this classic tells a tale of some children stranded on a desert island where they start their own society and one of them becomes the leader. Having recently finished Heinlein's "Tunnel in the sky" on exactly the same theme, and having really loved it, I decided to read this one.

What a load of crap! I mean it's a classic, sure! But what a horribly boring way to tell a story. Since my main motivation to buy this book was Heinlein's "Tunnel in the sky" I could not help but compare this with that and it loses very badly. While Heinlein's story grabs you by the collar and drags you deep into the plot, this one drags on like the funeral service of a remote relative where nothing seems to happen and time just stands still. No sense of identification, no leadership qualities in the leader, logical flaws in the psychology, too much detail where not required, too few details of the things that would interest the readers...

Well, finally I decided to follow this great quote -

"Never read a book through merely because you have begun it. ~ John Witherspoon (1723 - 1794)"

So, I closed the book and left it shut. I think if somebody decided to pay the postage I might just send it to them - UK only. But after the fantastic build up that I just gave it will anybody risk it? LOL.

Anyway, people write for different reasons and people read for different reasons - I have read a lot of different types of books and my only demand from a book is that it has to be interesting. I am willing to read anything as long as it's interesting and enriching. Funnily enough, the enriching part takes care of itself. Even if you read nothing but thriller novels, you still learn a lot, more than you expected and more than you can ever measure. Books are great!

I want to conclude with a quote from my favorite author - Robert A. Heinlein

"Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards."
~ Robert Heinlein

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