Archive for July, 2017

bookmark: summer people

Summer People – Brian Groh

One recent summer day, I had a sudden craving to be reading an actual book. I had visions of reading in my back yard with a pleasant summer breeze keeping me cool, a cold drink on the side, as I enjoyed the summer reading experience. So what better way to fulfill this desire than to stop by the library. The only question is, what book to read?

I didn’t want a classic, or mystery, or science fiction – I wanted a light summer read. I did pick up a Ray Bradbury book (yes, a murder-mystery – see previous bookmark), but that wasn’t what I originally wanted, so I kept looking. Scanning the shelves I saw a title, Summer People, and thought, “Sounds perfect!” I scanned the book and decided it would work.

And indeed, it was a light, casual summer read. It is about a young man who gets hired to accompany an elderly woman to her summer home in Maine. It is his story of gaining a bit of maturity through the things that he deals with during his stay. Any guy who has ever been a young twenty-something year old can relate to at least some of what he goes through.

With some of the extreme things that happen one might expect a grander denouement, but instead is handled more like taking things in stride. Perhaps that is more real to life but it doesn’t generate a great deal of emotion.

In the end this book fulfilled its purpose. I wouldn’t have lost any sleep over never having read it, but it scratched that summer reading itch.

Finished 7/20/17

Death Is a Lonely Business – Ray Bradbury

I love Ray Bradbury’s writing. Dandelion Wine is one of my favorite books. I love to read it in the middle of the winter because nothing can bring me into summer as quickly as that book can. His forte is description. He uses just the right words in just the right way to make you hear, see, smell, touch and taste that which he is describing. It’s a great technique, but somehow it just did not translate well to this murder-mystery story.

I suppose it’s because I’m used to the Dragnet style of terse question and answer. Mysteries, detective stories and such seem to benefit from a tight structure, at least in my humble opinion. Flights of rhetorical fancy can get in the way. Maybe that’s just my take on it. Go, read the book, and tell me I’m wrong.

That’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. There’s not much Ray Bradbury that I haven’t read, so it was nice to find something new. It’s a great mix of nostalgia, quirky characters and mystery, told from the point of view of the main character, who, suprise, surprise, is a writer. An easy perspective for Mr. Bradbury. Despite any criticism over style, it’s still worth reading.

Finished 7/12/17