It’s so odd we’ve never met. You and I were born the same year and we graduated from the University of Oregon the same year, too. (Go Ducks.) You live in Portland. I live in the ‘burbs of Portland. You’re a writer of some fame and renown. I’m a… well, I write. You’ve had movies made of some of your works. I watch movies. See? We’re practically related we’re such twinsies. (How we aren’t best friends is a mystery for the ages.)
My book club book this month was Fight Club. I have to admit, Chuck, it’s probably not a book I would have chosen on my own. I’m a fluffy bunnies and rainbows and frolicking kittens type of reader. I know it’s dumb, but I like happy endings. I’m not saying that all books need a happy ending, or even a proper resolution, but I like what I like, to paraphrase Popeye. Happy endings give me a warm glow not attributable to sangria or vodka tonics. And so it’s no wonder I approached reading your first book with a little trepidation and a lot of eye-rolling. I was sure I wouldn’t like it. Sure it would turn me off as a reader. Sure the subject matter was never, and would never be, in my wheelhouse.
I was wronger than a really wrong thing.
Your opening got me dialed so fast in I actually smiled to myself with how skillfully you’d done it. It never occurred to me to put the book down, or to turn my nose up at the violence and mayhem contained in it. My fluffy bunnies and frolicking kittens started to look a little battle-scarred – there was much less gamboling and a lot more kicking and scratching. A lot. But I kept reading. And continued to marvel at your ability to tell a story. The characters were flawed and horrid and real, and I still didn’t care. I still wanted their story. I still wanted to know what happened next.
Here’s the big deal, and it is a BIG DEAL… you gave it a twist I didn’t foresee. To my credit, I had just started to ask myself a few pointed questions when BAM! You did the big reveal. I think I laughed out loud and said, “Wow!”. I salute you, sir. Not many writers can surprise me. My family and friends make me promise to keep my mouth shut during films and TV so I won’t be the ginormous spoiler-hog from Satan. (Assuming there is such a thing, but I think you know what I’m talking about. Yes?)
The short version is I enjoyed the hell out of your book. You are a masterful writer, and I would give all my bunnies and kittens to be a tenth as talented as you are. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your stories, even if they make me cringe a little. Everyone needs something to shake them out of their established patterns every now and then. How else will we discover all there is in the world besides what’s in front of our faces?
If you’re ever in the ‘burbs, look me up. If there’s ever an ’86 reunion in Eugene, let me know. I’m proud to call you a Duck and an Oregonian, and I’d like to be a little like you when I grow up.
Thanks for sharing the twisted parts of your psyche with us.
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