Tuesday, 13 August 2013
More like 'Reading Weak'. It's been awhile. Apologies but this readers been writing. So let's stop the yearly read count (it was too boastful anyway) and just focus on what we've delved into recentely.
INTO THE WILD: I must admit when I first saw the cult classic film that was based on this book I wasn't a big fan. Even if I loved the solo soundtrack scored by Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder, which led to a serious, unique ukelele second career (which I prefer...yeah I know). With all due respect to the dead I found the leaving of home without a word by Christopher McCandless to travel a little discomforting. Especially because I was about to embark on a travelling trip of my own at the time which illuminated the feelings of isolation and homesickness. Still in further reading here we see more into this man and his lifes mission to truly live and what more can you respect than that. This book is both haunting and hopeful, recounting the fates of several other travellers who died tragically on the road and in respect of Christopher and them all, throughout all the vivid descriptions of just how beautiful real America is, nothing is more beautiful here then the hearts of men who just wanted to see the world for what it really is.
STAR WARS-RIPTIDE: It's safe to say it's been a Star Wars week. I even wanted to write this post inward like the opening credits. In a living room far, far away I watched the original trilogy for the first time in over a decade in one night, then went to sleep, woke up, watched a double-bill of 'Fraiser' and then watched the 'other' three Star Wars films. So it was only right I brought a novel. This one by Paul S. Kemp is a sequel to ('Crosscurrent' (which I need to get, but hey it's not like these guys know how to keep a chronological order)). On a clone hunt this book is deep, dark, brooding and brilliant. Capturing the loneliness of a vast hyperdrive space to go along with the futuristic martial arts of lightsabre duels, pitched and penned perfectly. From vivid descriptions of Jedi training, lightsabre making in dads garage and disassembling to it's essence, this takes Star Wars to the core. You know I can't wait for the new films now.
THE SILENT SEASON OF A HERO: I must admit I had no idea about the sportswriting of the great Gay Talese until I was brought his book for my birthday. Now, however this collection of his best stories from decades gone is perfect for this aspiring sportswriter who cites the late, great Jim Murray and the modern marvel of Scoop Jackson as his writing inspirations. Just like these two, Talese gives more to sportswriting than just facts and figures. His descriptive decadence now puts him in my holy trinity of the writers room with Scoop and Jim. Inspired by the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, Gay gave his subjects and stories exactly that...more story. Seeing all the intricate things that would make an inspired whole. He would write about everyone from the retired to the losers, the ignored to the caddies and behind the scenes and pro figures. He'd also pen an inspired Ali meets Castro piece for Esquire. His work, funny and forthright, insightful but respectful. The man who as kept and developed his signature style from his teens to his elder years has blessed every medium his typewriting fingers have graced. If you want to get into writing this is the man to follow. Thank you Mr. Talese for recharging the writer in me and showing me how it's really done. TIM DAVID HARVEY.