Sunday, February 7, 2016

Book Reviews by a Fan of Stephen King

I've been posting book reviews at Goodreads for the past four years... sometimes off-handed, but always heartfelt. Reading them as a whole, all on one page -- which you can do right here -- reveals some disturbing things about my character. For example:
  • I like to be "entertained" and invent drinking games
  • I absolutely love Harper Lee
  • I absolutely hate "Pride and Prejudice"
  • I have a passionate love/hate relationship with Stephen King
Of course, Stephen has no idea I exist. Still, I've been hyper-critical of the author in some of my reviews, and a feeling of King-like dread enveloped me recently when I saw his name appear on my phone's caller ID display at work.

And of course, I answered -- I mean, you always open the door at the top of the stairway when you're alone in the house, right?

The fellow on the other end of the line sounded, in fact, like the real Stephen King. Everything he said, however... a blur of words about a concern that I dutifully took notes about and sent to Verizon's Customer Service department... sounded not-at-all King-like.

Finally, I broke character before saying goodbye. I assured him I would look into his concern, but then added that I had recently listened to both "Finders Keepers" and "The Bazaar of Bad Dreams" using Amazon's Audible app (and, in fact, would have given them both 4 stars had I reviewed them on Goodreads -- although I didn't mention this). I still think King's stories are too long -- but, really, what's so wrong about settling in to a good long story, well told? It's one of life's luxuries, for free.

"I'm a big fan," I said, lamely.

"Well, thank you," the man on the other end of the line said politely, adding, "My own favorite is 'The Stand'." 

Shortly afterward, I heard back from Customer Service about the resolution.

"By the way," I started to ask, "was that...?"

The Customer Service manager simply laughed in anticipation. "Oh, no," she said, "that wasn't THE Stephen King."

"Oh, of course not," I said. "I didn't think so."

But yet another disturbing thing about my character is that, really, I did.

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