Book Reviews--way overdue

Just finished rereading one of my top 5 favorite books ever. I'd sent a copy to one of my top 3 favorite people ever--his name is Johnnie, and he's brilliant, funny, kind, and a bunch of other things that I probably don't deserve and won't get into here--for his birthday. Since he enjoyed it as much as I'd hoped he would, I decided to give it another go. I'd read it twice before that I can remember, but I get something new out of it each time I look at it.

It's called The Man Who Wrote the Book. It was written in 2000 by Erik Tarloff. I could say that it's a book about pornography, but that would be too easy, and not quite accurate. I could also say it's a book about triangles (in the relationship sense) but it's more of a sort of rhomboid shape, and besides, there's much more to it than that.

The Man Who Wrote the Book isn't terribly salacious. It is somewhat challenging, intellectually; more accurately, the language approaches the elitist, but that's one of the elements of which I enthusiastically approve. There's little about the book that one can take for granted. I laughed out loud--again--and at least twice, I closed the book and sat with it on my lap while I contemplated the meaning of what I'd just read for several moments. The philosophical implications. The morality and...

The best, and most clear, thing to say is that I love this book. I cannot fathom how it could be out of print, but if you can get a copy, do so. You will not regret it.

And if, by chance, Johnnie reads the blog (!) and finds this post, I hope he'll comment on it.

Some representatively meaningful bits from The Man:

"What occurs to me.... You know, all this time, I felt you were a figment of my fantasy life. What occurs to me now is, maybe I'm a figment of yours."

"I think you've invested me with all sorts of excellence I don't possess. You want, and I mean you deserve, some sort of life which I really can't begin to give you. I've come to represent deliverance to you, somehow. I feel like a total fool saying this, but, but, it is the impression I get. And, you know, I need deliverance, I need it more than anyone, I can hardly provide it."

"Maybe we can deliver each other."

What's my problem? he thought. Every instant I've spent in this woman's company I've spent doubting myself.
Maybe that's my problem.

"Do you love me, by any chance?" he heard himself asking.

"You want me to take all the risks," she said, and there was, for the first time, anger in her voice.

"Just asking."

"You're beginning to drive me crazy," she said.

"See? It's happening even sooner than I thought."


I was not a normal child. I didn't look like I was supposed to look (I was scrawny and often a bit grubby because I liked to play outside). I didn't act like I was supposed to act (I was both anti-social [I liked nothing more than to read by myself, someplace quiet!] and annoyingly bubbly--at times). I didn't do what I was supposed to do. In that sense, one of the things that I was supposed to do was to read Nancy Drew mysteries. I skipped that entire scene; I preferred Encyclopedia Brown, who seemed smarter somehow. I wanted to do things, not let the boys to everything fun.

I'm not sure why it is, then, that the arrival in my lib. of a new book in the genre caught my interest so strongly. It was Chelsea Cain's Confessions of a Teen Sleuth, and I could not survive without checking it out.

It was snortingly funny. I'm not sure what I can write that would be a better indication of what the book is like than that. It wasn't "laugh out loud," for me, but that may be because I didn't have the background in Nancyalia that's necessary for such glee. I do know that the implication of prissy Nancy Drew as a reckless-driving hussy was pretty damned hilarious.

And the chapters were really short. I miss that! ;)

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