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Sunday Reading

“The room still smelled of wood smoke and cigars, but Hugo could smell the books now, too, that familiar and comforting mustiness. If peace had a smell, he thought, it would be the smell of a library full of old, leather-bound books. He looked around but didn’t see Roussillon, so he walked over to one of the shelves and began to look for familiar titles.”

I finished The Bookseller, first of the Hugo Marston mysteries and am restless to get on with the series. None of my local bookstores has the second book in stock. Although the second book isn’t a prerequisite to the third, I still want to abide by the order. Until I get my hand on The Crypt Thief, I resort to The Deer Park by Normal Mailer, recommended to me by the entire staff at Book Soup in West Hollywood. The opening paragraph reminds me of and transports me to the Coachella Valley, the desert that is Hollywood’s backyard and playground.

“In the cactus wild of Southern California, a distance of two hundred miles from the capital of cinema as I choose to call it is the town of Desert D’Or. There I went from the Air Force to look for a good time. Some time ago.”

Some people call this novel a painful experience. Characters aren’t likable indeed, more like obnoxious and selfish people. If they want to be bigger than life, they are really devoid of it. I somehow enjoy reading about self-destruction and mindless coupling/decoupling of empty people.


4 Responses

  1. The description in the first paragraph is quite comforting to read. The smell of woodsmoke and books. What a glorious thought.

  2. I share your penchant for reading about unlikeable people who are the cause of their own problems — it’s much more realistic and interesting. Although I am not against a happy ending either (or at least, if not happy, then one with some kind of redemption or resolution).

    • It’s realistic no doubt, and I cannot see the end of the story at this point, since I’m almost two-third of the way. But nobody in this book is likable. They are all miserable and not knowing what they want.

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