So, I began, and said that Murakami was a fine writer.*
The girl turned the book over in her hands. She was Asian, which hasn't much to do with anything, but I figure you guys might want an image in your head. Build the rest of the cute bit yourself. Whatever floats your boat in that department. After you've done that, infect your cute image with the sight of her turning a white paperback round and round as if it were tumbling through the air and she were but the hands of God, pushing it through until it hit the ground with a nasty kind of end.
The book stopped. She said, "You know what book I liked during the year?"
She smiled slightly. "The Da Vinci Code."
I thought: Fuck. I'm such an elitist snob. I could fake interest in this, right?
"Have you read it?" she continued.
"I read the first paragraph," I said, not really thinking. "Some guy falls against a painting in, uh, one of them cliched my death points you forward kind of thing."
"It's a good book."
She was cute, but not cute enough for me to pretend an interest in Dan Brown. Besides, y'know, I like to pretend I'm a writer, with all those pretensions to art, and shit. "That opening was pretty bad. Made me think the whole thing was kinda going to be dumb--kinda like Matthew Reilly."
"He's all right."
"No," I replied automatically, "he's shit. He's like the writing virus that lowers the standards of other writers, telling them that they don't have to try real hard to make their books good. I mean, I once saw this guy giving an interview, and he said his influence for writing was the film Aliens."
"Oh." She stood. "Well, I like them. they're not great, but I like them."
"If they're not great, why bother reading them?"
Which is about where this entry ends. I made the whole thing up, which I reckon isn't too hard to pick, except for that bit about Reilly mentioning that Aliens and eighties action films were his influence for Ice Station. At the same time he was talking about how people want to buy his books and make them into movies, and how he sees his books as films on paper. He's a virus, people, a fucking virus. Someone ought to hunt the little fucker down and jam him full of his books doused in lighter fluid and then light him up.
At any rate, this entry is about saying to people, if you came across a book you liked, and reckon people should read, drop it into the comments.
* This is, I might add, quite true. If you take nothing away from this entry but a desire to read Haruki Murakami, then I'll be nothing short of happy. My favourite is the Wind-Up bird Chronicle.