t was about the hardest thing I’ve ever read (the review is already up), The Republic. Not that the contents were difficult. I just had a hard time focusing on it. Listening to Plato’s version of oh-so-clever Socrates lay out logical lines of reasoning really became tedious. And with his listener supplying gushing large amounts of “Such is true” and “It is how you say” and “Dat’s a fact, Jack!”. Really, it’s like those times I sit in a diner or bar and overhear blowhards a table or two down talking about a political candidate I simply cannot fathom or stand, and chucklehead about it in positive, supportive terms. In both cases, I just want to stand up and shout, “Utter balderdash!”
Then again, the ideas stated are 2000 years out of date. Which ideas, the philosopher or the candidate?
But anyway, so, yes, I finally forced myself to stick with it for a few hours while out at the beach, limping over the finish line like I limped under the final banner in my first 5k. It’s done. Toss it aside. Write a review. Done, done, done.*
And then I picked up the next book, recommended and loaned by a friend, Shades of Grey (no, not that one).
Started reading it. It was smooth enough. But it was weird. Really weird. I had no idea what the characters were saying, other that by the end of the first paragraph the main character was noting how the girl he loved has shoved him into some sort of man-eating plant, where he was being digested. Really?
So I pushed on. In a page or two, I was laughing at the total silliness of it. By the end of the first chapter, I was getting what the book was about, the weird sort of world it was, the whole why of the place.
Been hammering this one. Just loving it. And really, it’s like when I’m driving to the train club on a Wednesday. All the way out of town on the toll road, it’s heavy traffic and pretty much slow-n-go. And then most of the other cars are scraped off for the expressway south to the get-away-from-it-all Stepfords. And then I’m in sixth, really rolling, just bombing down the road.
And that’s what I’m doing in Shades of Grey. Bombing.
* Yes, I know, Such things aren’t done, they are finished. Done is more expressive of how I felt when I flipped it shut.