Well, Yesterday’s post actually resulted in two emails. While I would like to think that it was all a result of myself writing better, or perhaps more controversial, things, that is certainly not the case. Both of the emails were asking me the same question: If you don’t really like John Saul, why have you read so many of his novels?
I expected this question to come from Flux at the BlackChampagne website when I originally wrote the message to him. When he didn’t actually ask the question, I kind of gave up on looking for an excuse to give him. Then, when two people emailed the question that Flux never asked, I was forced to start to try to come up with a reason why. I have found that reason, basically put, I don’t know.
The year was roughly 1991, I was riding with my oldest brother from Oregon to Arizona. Speed limits at the time still being in the 55mph range on much of the road, while being 65mph on others, it was taking us a while to get there. The only tape that we had in the car, at least the only one that I would agree to listen to, was Europe: The Final Countdown. That was what we listened to for about 20 hours of driving time and it really, really, really got old.
My mother, while we were at her home in Arizona, offered us a book-on-tape version of Saul’s first novel “Suffer the Children”. Being that myself and my brother would rather die than to listen to that godawful ‘Europe’ music again, we took it and plugged it in as we were leaving Phoenix. The strange thing is that I am not able to find anywhere on the official John Saul website that there was ever a ‘book on tape’ version of that story…ever… I know that this was the story that I listened to, and I know that it really did sound fresh, but I was also about sixteen, and I didn’t really know anything about anything. Of course that knowledge (the knowledge that you never knew anything in your teens) really only starts to come to you much, much later.
Probably about four years after the previous incident, I realized that I actually wanted to read the works of Saul. It was certainly not an ‘epiphany’, or anything of that sort. I just happened to check out a book at the local library, by Saul, and read it. The book-on-tape versions of the books are either far better, or I have really low standards. At the time I was living with a dear friend, and we would kind of juggle the books to make sure that we were both able to read them before they had to go back to the library. It was during that period that I read every novel that Saul had ever written.
There are certain requisites one must reach before becoming a ‘good author’. Saul, in my opinion, did not meet a single one of those requisites. What Saul did do was keep me reading his books.
So, here we are, many years later. I have read every book that Saul had written, prior to the “blackstone chronicles”, of course I read that all as well. The thing is that some combination of age/experience in life tells you what is going to happen long before the question ever comes up. I, now, have an autographed copy of Saul’s latest novel. I will read it, every page. Not just for the story, but for the fact that a very dear friend bought it for me.
The other question, via email, was regarding the dual watch photos that I placed in yesterday’s update. The question was; “are you sure about the prices you attribute to each watch?”.
The answer is pretty simple, “NO”.
I have never bought a Rolex, ever, and I don’t plan to…
This person’s issue was with my saying that the ‘armitron’ was under a hundred dollars, while the Rolex was over a thousand… Well, it turns out that I chose the wrong ROLEX to pick on. The Armitron watch in the photo is still under a hundred dollars, the ROLEX watch is (prior to my previous beliefs) only about 800. Thank you for clearing that up. So that, the Rolex, watch will keep time only 8 times better than the three-dollar watch that you can get at the local 7-11. To follow that up, your average cheap-ass-watch can keep time, being off by only thousandths of a second, for years. The more expensive watches have to be repaired by ‘jewelers’, the name itself cost money.
Buy the cheap watch and there will be no need to negotiate later,.