The Book Release Party for GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE was held somewhere in L.A. last night. There were custom cocktails. I was jealous.
But at least I had my trusty ARC by my side. The book that has carried me through many a night these last weeks. Since Wednesday, I read these parts: FOUR PHOTOGRAPHS • THE PRESIDENT'S SPERM • THE VIRGIN SAINT AND HIS WARD • THE DIVING BELL • THE POPULAR GIRL • WELCOME TO EDEN • SOME KIND OF SIGN • GIMME SHELTER • THE DRAGON PARADE • SOUP FROM PAINT CANS • GIDEON'S BREEDING RIGHTS • THE QUEEN OF THE UNIVERSE • THE LIBRARY AND THE NEW TALLY-HO! • VENTILATOR BLUES
This may be the very best part of the book. It's definitely where things start to get pretty awesome for Austin, Robby, and Shann. It's my favorite part so far.
Here are some of the best lines from these sections:
Outside, in the distance, a police siren wailed like a plaintive coyote.
Nobody ever expects to be cheerfully greeted at midnight by a kid smoking in his underwear on a deserted street in Ealing, Iowa.
I took a drag, exhaled, and said, "Roof access, Rob." (this one requires some context in order to fully appreciate its brilliance, but that's the point of these posts - to get you to want to read the book)
Eileen's dance card was full. (this one needs context too, but any line that has "dance card" in it is a great line)
History shows that an examination of the personal collection of titles in any man's library will provide something of a glimpse into his soul.
I love that last line so much. It's such a great point. Books are special. They are almost holy, if you believe in that kind of thing. And let's face it: e-books are not the same.
Don't get me wrong. I love e-books. I love the convenience of my Kindle, especially when I'm traveling, but they're not the same as real books. Real books hold magic between their bindings. They are gateways to other worlds.
Besides, think about it: on that 4th or 5th date with a new person you keep finding more and more interesting each time you get together ... the date where they finally invite you over to their place. What's the first thing you do? Well, maybe the second, depending on how long it takes for that person to need to use the bathroom or slip into something more comfortable, what do you do? You take a look at their bookshelves.
Nothing reveals more about a person than an examination of their personal library. Nothing is more romantic than discovering a kindred spirit through the revelation of a mutual love of books.
Mick Jagger knew that. His favorite novel, or so I've read, was The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov.
Here is one of Mick and the Stones' best rock tunes, which is mentioned in GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE:
It was meant to be that Eden would have its historian.