Friday, May 04, 2007

Dreaded Summer Reading

In anticipation of choosing the main Summer Reading item, I am tempted by the third book by Manchester's Mil Millington. I feel particularly masochistic, I guess. Stumbling upon his blog a few years back, I was smitten with his short biting bits. Most were gems; five minute max reading bon-bons. Mr. Millington was persuaded to write a novel. He wrote two, Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About (yes, the same title as his very funny blog) and A Certain Chemistry. I've read both books and, worse still, I had purchased them. I had wanted so MUCH to like them. I slogged my way through, believing in both books' cases, that the big laughs were just on the next page. They weren't. How could this have happened!?!? His blog is absolutely hilarious. Was the blog too small and limited a vehicle for him? Seems that is what he or his publisher thought. Why hasn't someone at the publishing company pushed him onto the short story direction? The Very short story direction. Work to your strengths, I always thought.

Now this book, Love and Other Near Death Experiences, is winking at me with heavily crusted eyelashes. I know our local library has ignored that look, so I'd have to pony up some of my own bucks for this. Twice Mr. Millington has disappointed me and the reviews on Amazon are of the general theme that this third child is "funny, but not as funny as the other two". Other two? Funny? I'll be taking a pass, I guess unless a freebie shows up on the front porch.

Mr. Millington, remember that Woody Allen movie, Stardust Memories? Woody's doing his usual kvetch about Life and what to do within its time-limited confines. A passing couple eye him and the guy spouts, "Make funnier movies!

Let me borrow that plea. Mr. Millington,"Write funnier books."

In the meantime, I think I'll be running my fingers over the rows of Peter DeVries. Now, there's a funny writer.


Yeah, we've talked about this. Don't set yourself up for disappointment again. Better to wait a year and then re-read his website.
Mr. Sgazzetti,
Thanks for pushing me off that tipping point. Ring up a No Sale for me! There's not enough time bequeathed to us to be reading good books gone bad.

Now, bad books, truly, deliciously bad books. That's another matter. Joe Queenan does a superb job of praising the truly awful books. A very entertaining read from Sunday's NYT Book Review.
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