Lamar Giles
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June, 2011

Winter is Coming

I passed the huge displays in my local Barnes and Noble. Skipped the ads in magazines. Zoned out when friends raved about this episode or that episode. Ultimately, I shrugged the whole thing off. Game of Thrones was like NASCAR to me. Popular for reasons I just didn’t understand. Plus, I didn’t have HBO anyway.

Shrug.

Due to automobile trouble, I found myself stuck in the house this past weekend. On a lark, I called up my local cable provider and had Home Box Office added to my package (really, just to catch up on Entourage…I still wasn’t sold on GoT).

What a difference 10 hours and OnDemand can make.

I can probably count on one hand the number of times a TV viewing experience has felt transcendent to me. After this weekend, another digit just popped up. I can’t stop thinking about it, and I’m really about to buy each of George R.R. Martin’s novels because I don’t think I can wait until spring to know what happens next.

That’s it. No anaylsis. No clever observations. I just feel like a kid again, back in the days when watching The Twilight Zone and Tales from the Darkside was just as important as getting three meals in. Hell, those shows were the meal.

I think I just added another helping.

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What book are you chasing?

First, I’m not going to give you suggestions on the best ways to follow a shot of top-shelf whiskey. For those who feel mislead, I’m sorry to disappoint. Moving on…

The title of this post is actually a reference to the 1997 film Chasing Amy written and directed by Kevin Smith. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a pretty funny indie film currently available through Netflix Instant Streaming. And you might want to view it before I reveal this little tidbit that explains the origin of the title when no one in the film is named Amy.

*spoiler alert*

Towards the end of the movie the Silent Bob character, who is played by the director himself, gives a poignant monologue about how he messed up a good relationship with a woman named Amy over something that, in the scheme of things, was stupid. Now, he spends his days trying to find the same level of fulfillment he experienced with her. He’s constantly “Chasing Amy”.

I can’t relate to Silent Bob’s relationship woes because I’m happily married, but I’m a bit of a book whore. It occurred to me that I spend a lot of time trying to find a book that gives me the same level of fulfillment as certain other titles I’ve read over the years. I’m not the only one, and publishers know this, which is why when a book or series is successful, you immediately see a thousand clones (painfully obvious in YA right now with every other book aiming to be this week’s Hunger Games). Thing is, the clones almost never live up to the original*, so, sadly, the longing is never fulfilled.

That’s neither here nor there. See, for me personally, I think there is ONEĀ  book (MAYBE two) that moved me so much that I’m always trying to find a book that gives me the same level of enjoyment and satisfaction while disappointing me because I know it has to end. For me, it’s NIGHTWORLD by F. Paul Wilson (BLOOD BROTHERS by Steven Barnes is a close runner-up).

I read both books when I was 19 years old, and they CHANGED me, influencing my reading and writing habits ever since. Now, I spend everyday chasing Nightworld.

What about you? Any particular book that you can’t seem to get out of your system, no matter how many books you read? Please, let me know in the comments.

*If you know of a book that was an obvious clone of another, but somehow surpassed the original, please share. I’d be interested to check them out.

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