What I'm Currently Reading #4

Yeah, I didn't label one as #3 because I was in a foul mood (to put it simply).

I finished up The Gun Sellera few days ago; simply wonderful! I'm not going to offer up a review as it's outside the scope of this blog (it's a suspense/thriller novel), but suffice to say that although it's humorous, there's a definite plot. One of the things that got me about The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was that while I found it funny (especially the thing with the towel), there was absolutely no plot. At least to me there wasn't a plot. (No doubt someone who reads SF/fantasy will beg to differ, and that's fine; whatever floats your boat, er, spaceship.)

If I'm going out of my way to read a book, I like to have some semblance of a plot. It doesn't haven't to be something "ripped from the headlines" or that will teach me something about the U.S. social fabric.

It's also possible that I just read HH at the wrong time; I may re-read it at some point. But with so many other books to read, it'll probably be a while.

Right now, I'm reading Time and Again by Jack Finney. This is one I read as a Reader's Digest Condensed Books selection back in the 1970s. Yes, it was actually printed then (1970, to be exact), and it's a lovely time travel novel. Si Morley, a NYC ad guy, travels back to NYC circa 1882. At first, he's merely curious about his surroundings, contrasting it with the "modern" NYC of 1969-70 (an almost-dying Hudson River, endless noise, lots of interesting old buildings replaced with ugly glass buildings), but then he becomes more and more involved with that society.

I hadn't read this since it originally came out (when I lived not too, too far from NYC), and I started to wonder if my tastes had changed: The beginning is quite slow. However, once Mr. Finney got into the specifics of 1882 NYC (imagine seeing the disembodied hand of the Statue of Liberty on display!), I raced through it. Quite evocative and totally mesmerizing.

And, of course, I understand why it's slow going at first. We have to see the Si in his dull ad job (he's into the sketching/drawing end of it), which is one part that motivates him to go back. Another is his current girlfriend, who would like to know what happened to one of her ancestors.

Anyway, I'm rolling along in this book, and should have a review up in a few days.

~Nancy Beck