Question of the Week:
How has 9-11 changed you or your community?
Wednesday’s guest will talk about this.
Daniel Handler’s alter-ego, Lemony Snicket, gets a lot of press for his SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS. And next month, my oldest son will interview Lemony about the final book in that series.
But Dan’s adult books deserve equal attention, and Wednesday he and I will talk about his novel, ADVERBS, which is set in our new America, where people don’t presume to feel safe from catastrophe.
I wrote and then deleted a long review of ADVERBS. I decided to keep it short: ADVERBS made me jealous as a writer. Okay, I said it. It’s original and witty in ways I’ll never be. And it is original and witty in ways that are also deep and uncover tender truths about the human heart.
A better way for me to talk about ADVERBS is to say this: Go to your favorite bookstore, take this book off the shelf, sit in a comfy chair, and read the entire chapter called “Soundly.”
It’s okay to skip to that chapter – just for a taste – because ADVERBS works as a collection of linked short stories or essays as much as it works as a novel, and knowing what happens in this chapter won’t hurt your enjoyment of the rest of the book.
Now, if you’re like me, this chapter will wreak havoc on your emotions, and you will feel alarmed, giddy, nervous, heartbroken, and by the end, you will feel an enormous and hurting love. And also, if you’re like me, you’ll forget to be careful with the book and you’ll dog-ear pages and underline sentences that kill you with how perfect they are.
But it won’t matter that you’ve broken in a book you haven’t paid for because it will have already marked you the way you marked it. So go ahead and pay the ridiculous price they charge for hardcovers, take it home, and start from the beginning. The book is full of fear, obsession, violence, re-location, and loss, but most of it is there to get you thinking more deeply about love.
See you Wednesday!