As a matriculated student at the UW, during the on-season I’m stacked with projects to work on, so that by the time this summer arrived my must read list runneth over. So, beginning where I’d left off at Kurt Vonnegut’s Timequake. I love Timequake as much for its own story as all its many references to other stories and books and the days when an author could make a living from short stories published in newspapers no one reads anymore. (And long sentences. Followed by really shorts ones.) The man lived and died years ago and somehow everything he wrote is still so on point and true. And extra especially because he mentions one of my all-time favorite books, Catch 22, by Joseph Heller in high regard. Game recognize game, my friend.
After that I regressed into my youth, rereading the Harry Potter series from Cupboard Under the Stairs to Godric’s Hollow. As I finished a book, I’d watch the movie and yell at the know-nothings at the Warner Brothers who removed the very heart of the story to guarantee box office dollars. Anyone who read those books could tell you what’s missing, Hermione’s outsmarting the wizard media’s nastiest sassy lassy, Rita Skeeter. And, more importantly, Hermione’s entire Elf Rights protest which leads to the entire purpose of the story, that a world built upon foundations of injustice must be shaken all the way down to those same foundations and rebuilt correctly. Or as Killer Mike said it when he visited UW last year, “make it fair for everyone or burn it the fuck down.”
But between wondering what America might be like if the WB had told the whole story, I realized I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to the wizarding world yet and, thankfully Rowling, Tiffany & Thorne’s Harry Potter & the Cursed Child obliged. Despite the drastic change in format, the story picks up right from where the Hallows leave off, some nineteen years post Voldemortum. No spoiler alerts here, but I had a lot of questions about what Voldemort got up to in that time he bided at Malfoy manor. A couple few questions.
One day I found a promising looking book in one of the Little Free Libraries all along my jogging path here in the very progressive, very literate city of Seattle. Its jacket said anyone who read Rowling would love this. One of the endorsements on the inside written by one Mister Mickey Rapkin of GQ Magazine said, “I felt like I was poppin’ peyote buttons with J.K. Rowling when I was reading Lev Grossman’s new novel The Magicians…couldn’t put it down.” So there it was, I had to have it. I replaced it with a sci-fi novel and a book on smart entertaining because how else do those Little Free Libraries keep afloat?! It gathered dust until after the Cursed Child and boom.
Down the rabbit hole. I finished The Magicians a couple days ago, but not before making sure I’d downloaded The Magician King and The Magician’s Land onto my tablet, named Sir La Tabla. Mkay, you see how real that is. I had to make sure the next two books were on deck. No pauses. It’s pretty baffling how Grossman can weave a whole new magical world while acknowledging Narnia, Dungeons & Dragons, Lord of the Rings, Magic the Gathering, Alice in Wonderland and, yes, there’s some Hogwarts in there, too.
Excuse me, Sir La Tabla is charged up and it’s off to Fillory!
Are you reading anything good these days? Leave in the comments below, boo! Have you seen the Magicians teevee show on SyFy? I haven’t seen any of it, I
can’t won’t until I’ve finished all three books and fully digested the series before I can open myself up to another director, especially after what WB did to me. Just too wounded, just a little sensitive right now.