You know how as a writer, there are times when you have this logorrhoea that your fingers dancing across the keyboard struggle to keep track of? Well equally there are times when you suffer from – for lack of a better analogy and the creative skill to think one up – a constipation of sorts. When you can feel these words building up inside of you and no matter how hard you ‘strain’ you cannot produce that stream of fluid prose. And you are left feeling bloated and unhappy, simply because you cannot get it out.
So to make life bearable - for life is only bearable in the presence of words and lots of them - I have been drowning myself in words. I read two books this week. Each book took me a day. And both were rather enjoyable.
Let me begin with the lesser of the two.
Imagine reading a book about a man who gets blown off the toilet by the appearance of the Angel of the Eleventh Hour sent by the Intelligence of the Intelligency to anoint him as a prophet. This is what George, the protagonist in Tom Eaton’s Texas experienced one night and it was a pretty crappy night at that. The angel, Madadoel his name, was a hairy – really hairy – man. Taller than average who had thought it wise to endow himself with a rather large manhood. And of course we know this, since he makes his appearance in the nude.
Texas was funny, irreverent, strange – and that’s putting it mildly – but it provided me with the escape I was looking for. And that is really all that matters. Texas left me with one question though. Do you, as a reader need to establish a rapport with the protagonist? Must you like him? I’ve always believed this to be a vital ingredient when trying to produce a good book, but George, banal though he is, suffering under the mountain of insecurities like just about every person of the ‘Time’ – why else do we need books to tell us how to parent, make love, live, be fulfilled? – endears himself as he warms to his role.
One thing that annoyed me, was that the picture on the cover was not consistent with what was written in the book. I don't know whether this bothers you, but is always something that works on my nerves.
It wasn't a pointless book though. There was something deeper there, which I will attempt to ‘get at’ when I am feeling less mentally challenged.
And now on to the Love Story. I love a good love story. It satisfies the romantic in me, the person who is determined to believe in love that is eternal in spite of the divorce statistics. The person who believes in happy endings despite experience in life to the contrary.
And Anthony Capella’s Food of Love did just that. I suppose being able to identify with the passion that gripped Bruno when he prepared food, glorious Italian food, for his beloved meant that I was coming at this from a position of intimacy, if you will. I knew the feeling, having felt it myself. I understood what it meant to express yourself through your creation of something that is beautiful and satisfying in more than one way.
The plot was clever. It moved along rapidly, drew you in completely. Rome was vividly recreated on paper. I could smell the alleys, could see the fountains, the bridges and almost taste the wonderful food. I am biased, of course, having read Capella’s The Wedding Officer as well. And after reading both of his books, I can say that I have finally found my own ‘favourite contemporary author’.
As long as I can read and celebrate the music that is words, I am not completely lost. And theirein lies hope, the seed from whence all great things flourish. The Block will pass. It must. In the meantime, I need to find someone who can direct me to a good verbal laxative. A good purgative. It always makes you feel better, doesn't it?