So I have done some soul searching over the weekend and… HAHA! JOKE’S ON ME because then I’ve realized I have no more soul left. Wait, wait. That didn’t come out right. Let me try that again: I have done some soul searching over the weekend and… I realized that my pretty much undernourished soul badly needed something to read. The thought of jogging and doing some exercise did cross my mind but do I want to actually do those? Do I? DO I REALLY? The answer came a nanosecond after that life-altering question and said answer can be pretty much summed up eloquently with this gif reaction:
Moving on! Back to reading — or rather, back to re-reading — I went, starting again with the first couple of chapters of “The Exorcist.” The timing for it is perfect because Halloween!!!!
I don’t know what astounds me more: The striking prose of that book or the fact that I have forgotten some major details of the story.
I DON’T NEED NO 3 A.M. TO GET SCARED AND PARANOID WITH EVERY THUMP AND BUMP I HEAR
I remember feeling lost and disoriented when I first read its prologue. (Although I have the sneaking suspicion it was just me.) I felt like I was dropped in the middle of the scorching heat of a foreign place and I could not understand the babble going on around me. I was struggling to keep my balance. I was trying to catch up on what was being said. I was confused. But now, as I read the same prologue the second time around, I could not imagine why I even felt that way the first time. The prose was crisp and clear. The words were beautifully strung together, reflecting a scene that sucked you right into the middle of it. But then again maybe that’s exactly the same reason why I felt the way I did the first time I read it: The words jumped out at me and I was not prepared when I found myself being pulled into what felt like the middle of something. Something that was, at the moment, happening and I had to make sense of what I missed before I got there. (It’s pretty much like arriving late to a party, where things already took place and people already whispered words.)
“He remembered evictions: humiliations: walking home with a seventh-grade sweetheart and encountering his mother as she hopefully rummaged through a garbage can on the corner. He climbed the steps and opened the door as if it were a tender wound. An odor like cooking. Like rotted sweetness.” — The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty
I still have a long way to go before I’m even halfway through the book and that is fine. I intend to go slowly this time, savoring the words as I feel myself getting lost in the story (minus the disconcerted feeling).
THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING! THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING! THE ZOMBIES AER IRUHFJDSKYVUCX VJCXBVNNRJJDSF!!!!!!!!
Speaking of books perfect for Halloween, there’s this book I’ve had for quite some time but never got around to finishing it. It’s “World War Z” by Max Brooks and just like that first time I read “The Exorcist”, this book felt confusing at first. I remember the jarring, baffling feeling as I jumped from page to page. The feel of those words, the impressions made through its narrations were things I’ve never encountered before but I LOVED IT. With each narration, I could clearly see the unsettling scenes and it was terrifying and shocking. The use of words and the flow of each narration lived up to its title. After all, a zombie invasion should be all about disruption and chaos thrown together with anguish and shock and disbelief. (And lots of blood and gore. LOTS. I had to skim over those parts because squeamish = me.) Reading that book gave me the same feeling as with “The Exorcist”: The feeling of disconcertment. (And I’d like to add at this point, also disgust. *pause* For both books and that’s a good thing, because it means the storytelling was done so well that it managed to evoke vivid reactions from the reader.)
“Beyond them, in the first chamber, we saw our first evidence of a one-sided firefight, one-sided because only one wall of the cavern was pockmarked by small arms. Opposite that wall were the shooters. They’d been torn apart. Their limbs, their bones, shredded and gnawed… some still clutching their weapons, one of the severed hands with an old Makarov still in the grip… Every chamber told a different story. We found smashed barricades, discarded weapons. We found more bodies, or pieces of them.” — World War Z, Max Brooks
DEMONS AND ZOMBIES ASIDE, I THEREFORE CONCLUDE…
It’s one of the best things that reading books can do to you: The words move you to a different place where anything can happen. Sometimes, you tiptoe on the side and watch the story unfold. Other times, you’re hurled in the middle of who knows where and it takes you a moment to get your bearings and make sense of what’s happening before you. Words can take you to places, sometimes it’s where there are zombies hell-bent on chomping on you. One time, there was a place that had Pazazu. *shudder* Which reminds me: I should re-watch “The Exorcist” soon. Preferably not alone and with all the lights turned on.
Have a happy Halloween, folks!