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I’ve been dating a bad book.

I could write a lot of lame excuses for why I haven’t posted in a while.

Work, kids, travel. Not to mention laziness. 

I found the culprit and it’s all very simple:
I have been caught in a bad relationship.

We spent a lot of time together, we tried to work it out, I gave second chances and final chances and I was hopeful Geoff would change. I tried to change. But he didn’t. And I didn’t.

So we broke up.

I’m to blame. I trusted one of those nifty hand written cards dangling from the shelf from “Sam” an employee at a rogue bookstore. The warning signs were there. I don’t normally hang out at this joint and he was decidedly not my type,  but hey, it seemed kind of intriguing.

Except it wasn’t.

This (god damn) paperback has flown more than 20,000 airline miles with me and yet still (still!) I am on page two seventy something. The end is in reach. And yet the weeks just slipped by.

Which of course, you can see, makes me a bit mad.

Because what am I really going to write about on my little blog about not-a-bad-book-but-not-a-good-book?
It’s just a steer-clear-from-if-you-care-about-your-time-book.

Geoff Dyer is, I’m sure, a talented writer. The novel is likely clever and intellectual and maybe even would have been the best novel I read all year, if, well, I could have finished reading it. But instead, I kept going back to chapter twenty something and re-read it for the umpteenth time and tried to get my mojo back. And move this story forward.

There was only 75 pages left and I STILL (STILL!) couldn’t get ‘er done.

Of course we all realize that a so-so book demands far more than a mediocre tv show (50 minutes) or movie (2 1/2 hours max). So why the heck do we persist? To show we aren’t a quitter? Do I really care if Geoff Dyer thinks I am a quitter????

Let’s just apply some logic here: do you recall the last time you spent 10+ hours (is it 15? 20? how long did I spend on Jeff In Venice?) doing something that was SUPPOSED TO BE FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES and well, wasn’t entertaining.

Exactly.
You need to put a bullet in it, people, and move on.

So, that behind me.

I picked up the next book on my list, A Visit From the Goon Squad, and that novel was down the chute like an ice-cold beer in a humid midwestern summer. Easy. Less than 6 days cover to cover.

So, work, kids, travel, hectic days and tired evenings…are those real excuses.
Nah. All of us will find the time to date a winner.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. I like him too, tho’ more for short pithy pieces in the Guardian. Thanks for the warning. Totally agree on the bad date analogy. I have a hard time letting go too, but when you go back and have to re-read several times, that’s always a sure sign to drop it.

    Delia Lloyd
    http://www.realdelia.com

    November 8, 2010
  2. Best comment so far over email:

    “there was only 75 pages left”
    your editor had one too many beers on a humid midwestern summer day, gf.

    woops, i guess I am out of practice.

    November 8, 2010
  3. Fernanda #

    I’ve JUST commented on another topic (one you posted ages ago) but it just has sooooo much more to do with this one! Infact, I’ve been enlightened by the news: “My name is Fernanda and I’ve been dating *alot* of bad books all my life.” God, what’s wrong with me…

    December 8, 2010

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