Friday, March 14, 2008

Read More Blogs

I have had a rash of less-than-scintillating reads lately.

My point to this posting is at the end, so skip down to there if you don't want to waste precious time reading about books that suck.

Duma Key by Stephen King

As constant readers (a phrase I've borrowed from King) know, I'm Steve's bitch as a fan. And, dammit, this is his worst book to date. Dull dull dull. It's derivative of things he's already done himself, too. (Paintings causing events in reality, dead twin girl ghosts, for starters.)

I read over 700 pages, and the plot actually starts on page 670 hundred something. Even then, I just found it a slog.

Then I saw a site that has plot summaries of current books, the book spoiler, so went to see if it was worth continuing. (Sometimes knowing the end for me can propel me to it in order to see how it's executed.) Alas, it just gave good reason to bail.

The book spoiler summary is 11 paragraphs long, and the first 3 cover the first 700 pages of the novel, to give you an idea.

Sorry, Steve; this one's a dud. Of course, I'll read the next one, though.

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life by Steve Martin

Surprisingly, for someone who was as popular and influential as a stand-up, there's just not a lot of there there (to paraphrase Gertrude).

Martin's an amazingly flat-footed writer, here, too.

Eventually I couldn't even keep up the energy to just skim to the good parts.

When You Need a Lift: But Don't Want to Eat Chocolate, Pay a Shrink, or Drink a Bottle of Gin by Joy Behar

Picked this up as a lark from the "just in" shelf at the library. In her defense, Behar didn't really write any of the book other than the intro. It's a collection of (mostly useless) advice for life from celebs and friends of Behar's.

The only good one was Carol Burnett's, but I lost the photocopy of the page, or else I'd share it with you.

Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me by Ben Karlin

Now I thought this one would be a can't-miss tome of great relationship blow-up stories, but they were all pretty lame. Not a laugh in the bunch. And, inexplicably save for political correctness, there's even an entry by a gay guy whose first real live glimpse of a vagina (or va-jay-jay as the current Oprah euphemism goes) convinced him he was gay. Gosh, thanks for the news flash, Bruce.

Not even worth the calories it would take to lift the book.

The realization I had was that any one of the blogs you see over there on the left in the "great blogs" list are written by superior stylists than I found in all those books (with the exception of King, of course). They certainly provide much better content on any given day than any of the books above.

The go-to lazy story most Journalists trot out at least once a year is a rumination about whether blogs are needed or any good.

After my recent voyage through all that published mediocrity, I was left with a pretty solid conclusion: HELL YEAH!

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