Monday, March 10, 2008

still life with inverted spaniel

So I'm reading what I think might be the most manliest book ever. I mean this book makes Papa Hemingway look like he really belonged on Key West, perhaps with a thriving interior design business. This book makes Travis McGee roll over and beg for mercy. It's the toughest book I've ever read. What it is is The Lost Get Back Boogie, by James Lee Burke and I think, although I am not sure and am too lazy even to google, that it's his first book. I actually am enjoying it, although counting the beers the narrator drinks in an average day is straining my math skills and my credibility, since I, personally, have a hard time taking a 1959 Plymouth lazily up to 100 through the snow after even 11 beers, let alone 2 cases and half a bottle of whiskey, but maybe I'm just a wimp. It is good though and I like it so I thought I'd give you a short, manly summary loving parody:

The sun was going down in loops of fire behind the black mountains as I tapped the steelhead onto the bank and took a long slug of Jack. Damn woman in Missoula, I thought, snaking the old .44 from behind my back and taking a good size elk cow. I drank another beer as I skinned the elk and wondered if the brakes would hold out. Back in Louisiana I'd killed a man, hard and cold and dead on the barroom floor and the memory of it made my eyes burn. I drank another beer and drove down through the snow, jacking the pickup sideways through the gate, the beer clutched between my knees.

Yeah. You have to read that out loud in a really really manly deep voice. I'm telling you, I've missed my calling. Here I was thinking that I could make a fortune writing stuff like the most horrible book ever, and I present a paragraph of my very own:

Alysssssssa tossed her auburn braid over her comely shoulder and adjusted her emerald gown. "Goodness gracious, sir!" she said laughingly, while harboring within the depths of her sensitive soul a great hatred for the topaz eyed, raven haired, wide shouldered, sword begirt, slim hipped piratical man who stood calmly regarding her from the tousled doorway of her silk laden boudoir. "Don't mind me," he drawled insinuatingly, "Now that you are my property, we have lots of time to work out the details of your deflowerment."

You get the general puke inducing idea. You would think I could churn out 400 pages or so of that on my head, but alas, every time I've tried it's broken down into high comedy and low pornography by about, oh, page 55 or thereabouts. I can't ever keep my perky heroine with her perfect peach shaped breasts tantalizing her smoldering eyed lover long enough - either I kill her because I hate her so and just can't take it anymore or I toss them into bed and leave them there. But maybe it wasn't me. Maybe I'm just trying the wrong gender. Perhaps my heart has actually been with the trout and the beer and the shotgun and the dark, taciturn, brooding loner with the bottle of whiskey all along. Huh. Who knew?

1 comment:

Edgy Mama said...

I adore James Lee Burke.

I'm tried my hand at romance writing and sucked as well. Basically, it's hard to write what you don't love reading. Still, the word "piratical" rocks.