I'm supposed to be writing about which novels have made me literally hungry. It's never happened. I have never read a description of a sumptuous feast and found myself moved to run to the kitchen or call for a pizza. Truthfully, I likely would skim past a deep description of a feast. Just not my thing.
But I have read books that made me hunger for more by the same author.
Top of that list is Stephen King. I know he isn't everyone's idea of a feast, but I can glut on that man's prose. He actually proved that to me when he wrote an essay about his son's softball league and I read it avidly. Listen, I just don't give a rat's posterior about softball, or about any leagues for the same. I'm more likely to read a massively boring manuscript about sensuous Szechuan shrimp that to suddenly start caring about those subjects, but for the twenty minutes I was reading that essay, I cared very heavily. That's just damned good prose.
Lloyd Alexander does that for me. Waaaaaay back when I was in the eight gradeI first read Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain. Five books about the life of an assistant pig farmer who longs to be something more and, quite by accident and not at all in the way he'd expected, becomes it. I burned through each volume of Alexander's amazing prose, eager for the next volume. I could SEE the characters completely. I knew them as well as I knew myself. It was a magic that, until that moment, had never touched me.
I gave the books to my first love, to read and never got them back. I bought a new set and read them again as moved as I was the first time.
Two weeks ago I'm at a book signing for CITY OF WONDERS and I wander around the store and see, oh, sweet wonders of the world, a complete set of all five books. New covers, bot as wonderful as the ones I remembered when I was a kid, but who the hell cares?
I bought them again. I don;t know what happened to the last set I bought. I probably loaned them out again. Whatever the case, I saw those books and the hunger was back. All my desires to visit that world again came around. I guarantee you there has never been another set of books that I have read as many times (five, I believe and soon to be six). I will read them again soon, just as soon as I have cleared my plate of contracted works where I am behind schedule. They will be my reward. for now I sat hungry. I have many words to go before I can read my old friends again. But oh,. how I love for them.
What can I say? I am addicted to words.
James A. Moore
It's that time of year: What are YOU thankful for?