Sunday, March 29, 2009

High School

I did not spend a lot of time in high school reading what people would call serious literature.  Instead, I read comic books and books about the Alamo.  I was thinking about the few times in high school, when I'd drive two hours to Nashville to wander around the books in Media-Play, that I got something good for reasons that were totally random and weird.  

Russell Banks's The Rule of the Bone: I got this book because Details, which I read a lot in order to figure out how to cut my hair, said it was a good book.  So I bought it.  And it was awesome.  The main character's name was Chappie.  Then he was called Bone.  I wanted, for a while afterwards, to change my name to Bone Chappie Wilson.

Kevin Canty's A Stranger in This World: I got this book because the author's name was Kevin.  That is the sole reason.  There is a story called "Pretty Judy" that kind of ruined me for a few months, it was so good.  I have since learned that buying a book just because the author's name is Kevin is not always a great idea, but I still fall for it sometimes.

Dennis Cooper's Try: I think I bought this book because I'd heard of Dennis Cooper from Spin Magazine where they talked about Artspace Books and a collaboration he'd done with some artist.  I couldn't find that book at Media-Play, so I got Try.  I remember reading it before class started one morning and a girl beside me asked what the book was about.  The book is about a teenager, Ziggy, who is sexually abused by his two dads and then he falls in love with his best friend, who is a heroin addict, and he hangs out with his uncle, who sells pornography on the black market.  I said something similar to what I just wrote and I remember thinking, as I told her about that book, that this was not going to endear me to her.