The Borrowed Book

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It’s time to buy more books. I got to the bottom of my pile this last weekend, and so I started reading a book that a friend of mine lent me a while back. I kind of forgot about it, to tell you the truth. And when I saw it languishing there at the bottom of the pile, I remembered how much he liked it.

He raved about it, and he’s basically the kind of guy who wouldn’t get excited if you set him on fire. He even told me stories of other people he had lent it to in the past and how much they loved it. It was kind of pathetic how hard he was trying to sell me on this book. Like it was a new religion.

Fast forward to Sunday afternoon. My brain and my eyes were hungry for a story they hadn’t seen/thought about before. So I reached for The Novel—using a pseudonym here to protect the identity of the book and author from what I’m about to write.

YA Author Tom Hoover on The Borrowed BookThe book opened with a family tree, which in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are many, many, many books that open with some kind of graphic—the one I most often see is a map of the area where the story takes place. I don’t typically do more than glance at maps like that because, y’know, I’m not driving there.

By the same token, I don’t really care about family trees unless a) they’re mine and b) they end in an inheritance. I’d also be open to my muse getting an inheritance so she can get her own place. However, I’m not sure her family would claim her. She was arrested for crashing their last reunion.

But I digress.

Kind of.

Because this book has made me re-examine my casual la-ti-da attitude toward opening graphics. The family tree turned out to be six pages long. It was a freakin’ forest. I seriously expected little furry animals to escape from the pages and run amuck through my bathroom.

And here’s the part I didn’t tell you. There was a map before the trees, and it wasn’t directions to a way out of the foliage. Oh and after the Amazon rainforest of a genealogy … there was another map. Of a bigger place.

Okay, so now I’m officially dreading the first page of the story, assuming I’d ever reach it. And then I did.

It began with a prologue. I assume I needed a “pre-story” to re-whet my appetite for a story since I was obviously tired from traveling over land and sea and through darkest jungles to get there.

FYI. The prologue was a bunch of whales, from the head whale’s point of view, chasing fish into a shallow bay where they beached themselves and two different tribes of people came out of the woods of their own family trees and slaughtered the whales with axes and each other with arrows. And it was the most vague and verbose massacre anyone has ever witnessed.

The worst part is, I’m not making this up.

I hate my friend so much.

You couldn’t pay me to read his damn book.

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