Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Responsibility of Ownership

by Josh

First of all, I want to thank Rebecca Cantrell for filling in for me last week. I had a Very Bad reaction to an BEAantibiotic and then engendered somes pre-BEA anxiety and, well, the end result was a puddle of oww that nobody needs to hear any more about. Anyway, thanks again, Becky. It was and is much appreciated.

BEA was a great deal of fun. Since I already wrote about it here, I won’t bore you with the rehashed details. What I will do, however, is jump right into answering this week’s provocative question.

It takes a lot to surprise me. Like many Gen-Xers, my brain is fixed in a semi-calcified state of Whatever. Don’t get me wrong. We/I want to be surprised, moved, scared, delighted, amused, etc. but given my generational stoicism, combined with an overexposure to CNN, it just takes a lot to get through to me. Just ask any of my ex-girlfriends.

That said, when I got to the Twilight Zone-esque climax of Stephen imgres King’s Under the Dome, I remember my mind fetus-curling itself and subsequently shivering for its blankie. I’m not going to go into the details, if only to entice those who haven’t read the novel to do so and to save those who have read the novel from a repeated moment of spine-chill.

What worked most about the climax for me was the ego-lacerating fact that I completely did not see it coming. I mean, I had my own ideas as to what caused the dome to form over the town, I never expected King to go there. In my defense, King has a long history of great novels with bad climaxes (yes, I’m talking to you, It). Perhaps my expectations were low. Or maybe I was so delighting in the 300MPH roller coaster ride the novel provided that I was able to just escape into a world of an able, trustworthy storyteller. Whatever the reason, I remember reading that climax – and then reading it again just so I could deconstruct it from a writer’s point-of-view and analyze sentence-to-sentence what made it work so effectively for me.

I think I’ve mentioned Under the Dome as a recent favorite of mine before in these environs, and I’ll probably mention it again because it just sizzles and I love it, and sharing the books we love is a responsibility of ownership, don’t you think?


Maribeth said...

Okay, now you've done it! Under the Dome was a little farther down my list but it just took #1 To Get spot. Good thing I'm not OCD or you'd have really messed me up.
I'm only kidding but I am going out to get the book -- today.

Giggles and Guns

Sophie Littlefield said...

wait wait wait, how did we avoid meeting at BEA? I was at that YA buzz panel and I tried to get to the HQ booth as much as I could but i missed you!! next year?

And SECOND, I have waited my whole adult life to meet someone from Co-op city. I have longed to explore that place since the minute I first laid eyes on it twenty years ago. I am dying to set a book there. I don't suppose you can take me on a tour sometime?

Joshua Corin said...

Maribeth, it's really worth it. King pulls out all the stops with this one.

P.S. I love the name of your blog!

Joshua Corin said...

I have no idea, Sophie! But then again, it was such a vast sea of people. Wasn't the YA buzz panel fascinating? As a relative newcomer (well, returner) to YA, I was transfixed. And how about that author who is only 18??

Co-Op City is a weird, weird neighborhood. I haven't been in some time, but I'd be happy to show you around. My dad is the one who was actually born there, but his near-neurotic aversion to NYC kindasorta nixes his qualifications as a proper tour guide.

Terry Stonecrop said...

I was wondering how you were going to link all this to "responsibility of ownership." Good job. Very creative! I would have talked about keeping my car clean or something.

Under the Dome looks good but it's so big, it's intimidating.

Rebecca Cantrell said...

Josh, don't worry. I'll be asking you to blog for me any day now. My KNIVES tour (sounds kinda rock-star-like, doesn't it?) starts in a three weeks and then I'll be begging for blog help.

Damn you, now I'm going to have to add ANOTHER book to the TBR pile next to my bed and the thing is already so high I haven't vaccumed under it for months. I'm even getting afraid to send Roomba in there in case he gets crushed.

I mean, thanks for the recommendation!

Joshua Corin said...

Terry, I hear you. It's a doorstopper. I think it's for reading books like this and "Infinite Jest" that the Kindle were invented (if only to spare us the need for wrist surgery).

Joshua Corin said...

Becky, if my students can be literature-resistent, there must be a way to rejigger your Roomba to the same setting. I will ask them what their secret is.

Shane Gericke said...

My wife doesn't like Stephen King. She read Under the Dome. She loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Cackled out loud a bunch of times. Moaned at the deliciousness of the wordplay. So ... I've just GOT to read it.

Thanks for reminding me to put it at the top of my TBR pile, Josh. Great post.

And what's Co-Op City Sophie mentions?

Joshua Corin said...

Shane, Sophie is referring back to a blog post I did on my website about how, when I was littler, my family used to drive from RI to a neighborhood in the Bronx called Co-Op City, which is basically a *bizarre* assortment of high-rise condominiums.

Becky LeJeune said...

Under the Dome was fantastic. I lugged it around for four days reading nonstop! I absolutely believe that spreading the word on books we love is a responsibility of ownership!

Kelli Stanley said...

Thanks for a wonderful post, Josh--and UTD is definitely on the TBR list as soon as I can get the time to R. ;)