Photo Credit: Jo Naylor

I never heard back from you yesterday. You said it was a big day. You’d fill me in later. I waited. Must have been a really big day.

While I waited, I read the $2.99 book I bought on Amazon. You know I’ve always got to have a new author warming up in the bullpen. Yeah, the story did sound interesting. Credit to the content-writer. The cover art looked welcoming. Everything about it implied smart and funny. Quirky.

So I bit. Five espressos would be the sum total of my loss if the investment turned sour. I mean, you drink a double every time we stop at the café.

If if I hate it, I’ve not lost that much. Can’t be that bad, right?

Yes, it can. It definitely can. Not for the reasons that you think though.

The book wants to be cool. ee cummings, I don’t care about capital letters kind of cool. That part misses the mark though. It feels more like a rip-off than a tribute. Honest long-form prose needs to make an effort at adulting and forget the attempts to hipster.

So I read a couple of chapters and I immediately realized that this book has me afflicted. I’m so afflicted that I don’t even know what to think. So, even though I don’t want to, I’m compelled to keep reading. I just got bookjacked. You heard me. The associate professor of creative writing of some obscure junior college two miles past nowhere just bookjacked me.

If I don’t finish it’ll haunt me. That’s the conundrum. It’s either embarrassingly uncreative writing — a literary felony, or it’s expert level quirk that I’m just too stuffy to get. Either the protagonist has diminished mental capacities (and that’s the genius of his scribbler) or his scribe would struggle to get a byline in a second grade newsletters to parents.

The dude who I effectively bought five coffees for is either a total poser or the second-coming of F. Scott Fitzgerald.

It twists me up that I can’t definitely tell the difference. Maybe this cat does have the chops. Maybe he ought to be in the Bigs and just hasn’t got his shot yet. The flip side argues that he might be more like the Uncle Rico of the publishing world. If he could just get his shot, he could “take state.”

The beholder may gaze on something and call it beauty, but he might also have cataracts. So help me out, how much does our taste as consumers say about us?

If I’m tone deaf, can I appreciate good music? Does the palette of a four-year-old disqualify a grown man to make wine recommendations? Yes and yes. I say that it should disqualify him to recommend wine, although it may not disqualify him to enjoy wine — either the vintage stuff or the junk that they sell in a box.

I believe a certain depth of knowledge of a particular subject should preclude any strong opinions. Maybe that’s why I can’t tell you whether or not you should download your $2.99 copy of ee cumming jr’s book.

Looks like I’ve got a beam in my eye, while I’ve been telling you about this other guy’s speck. Thanks for listening.

By the way, I’m still waiting on that text.

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