Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I lent a friend of mine Case Histories, thinking she'd enjoy it. I wanted someone else I know to read it so we could talk about it. Like a mini-mini-book group. What happens? She hates it of course. The writing was bad. The stories were overly sentimental. The characters, awful. Except for Jackson she says. I know we're not all supposed to all like the same books. I'm sure there would be countless books she loves that I would discard without hesitation. It's just an odd, unsettling feeling to like a novel so much and to think someone else would get caught up in the crazy, sad stories, only to have them struggle through 100 pages before closing the cover for good. Two weeks ago I gave her the book. Now, I have it back. Unread. It looks lonesome on my record player, atop Shelby Foote's Civil War trilogoy. At least it's in good company now, surrounded by books loved by their reader. Snuggled amongst Ozick, Agee and Foote. You're home now.