Thursday, June 01, 2006

Not Just Sitting

I’ve been reading a lot lately, because it’s hard to do many things around the house with a left elbow that doesn’t work well and a broken right wrist. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t just sit.

I’m in charge of making the bed every morning, washing dishes, walking the dog twice a day, cooking dinner several times a week and other “light-duty” household chores. We had new vinyl installed in one of our bathrooms last week and I attempted to put in the trim myself; cutting baseboard and quarter-round to finish it off. That turned out less than perfect. Maybe next week.

But, I can still read.

My taste in literature normally runs toward Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker and Jonathan Kellerman. I’ve read all of Parker and Kellerman’s books except for the most recent, and those are still harder than hell to get at the library. I’ve also read everything our local library has by Leonard. What to do, what to do? I expanded my horizons.

Recently I was surfing around on TV, and saw a movie listed that looked interesting. It was adapted from a John Grisham novel about an inexperienced young southern lawyer faced with the daunting task of defending a black man accused of murder. To top it all off, there were witnesses to the act, and he actually admitted doing it. It was a very good film and I decided to search the library stacks for more of his work. I’ve now read several, and have yet to be disappointed.

I visited my daughter about a month ago and during the day while she and her husband were at work I scanned their book shelves for something interesting to read. What I came up with was a Tom Clancey novel called Debt of Honor. It envisiones a war with Japan; an economic conflict that escalates into limited physical battles.

The son-of-a-bitch was 990 fucking pages long. The first 300 or so pages taught me everything I needed to know about Wall Street and the intricacies of stock trading, this country’s State Department, and the operation of our military branches. I hate to admit it, but I started reading the first sentence of each paragraph and skipping the rest. While it did contribute to the story-line, it was boring as hell.

At about page 350, the pace started to pick up. To make a very long story short, I finished the book today – and what a fucking ending!

The book was first published in 1994, and ends with a 747 jet being flown into the Capitol Building in Washington. Shades of 9/11, but written a full 7 years before that horrendous event.

Is Clancey clairvoyant?



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