Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book: A Dangerous Fortune

by Ken Follett

To set the scene: It's late Sunday afternoon. I've just finished reading The Big Turnoff (review still to come, but it's a memoir, still my current favorite genre), and the library has closed. One more official day of TV Turn-off Week remains. Sure, our house is full of books, but are any of them things I want to start reading Right Now?

I pull a few off the shelf. A Jane Smiley novel bought at a bargain table that's sat untouched for years. A novel my Dad loaned me (whoops, thought it had been a gift). Some astrology books. Knitting books from the library. Nothing appeals. I wish I could go to the library and get the book I want to read next, The Plug-In Drug, just to torture myself, but that adventure will have to wait. The Professor suggests another Ken Follett novel. I read a page or two, not really interested, but then...

I got sucked in. So, I started this book Sunday evening, and I finished it today. That's what not watching TV will do to a girl (it still hasn't come back on in our house). I stayed up way too late reading last night and still managed to wake up this morning at 6:30 am and be at work by 7:30 am (ugh). I enjoyed the book. The one thing I will say is that Ken Follett is much nicer than I am. His villains suffer, but they do not suffer enough for me. I want them to twist in agony for a really long time, and I want a front-row seat to watch it, but I am consistently denied. Maybe I need to start writing my own novels so that I can bring some true wrath down on a villain of my own. Maybe after he has written a novel and spent so long with the characters, he has a soft spot for even the bad guys and that's why he lets them off the hook. Maybe he has an editor who censors out the full punishment inflicted on these villains. I do not know the answer, but it frustrates me.

So, not as good as Pillars of the Earth, and frankly a tad predictable because of having read it, but a fun quick read with the usual good triumphing over evil in the end. And fiction is becoming interesting to me again in a way that it hasn't in a long time, so that's a pleasant side effect. The Plug-in Drug is waiting for me at the library now. I think I will wander down to fetch it.

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