Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sixty Pages

Dear Ayn Rand,

Sixty pages? For reals? You had one man speak for sixty pages? I mean, I think that 6 pages is a little too long for a character to talk but 60? That's pushing it, even for you. I hate to say it but I had to skim through most of it, mostly because you had spent the last 1000 pages explaining everything already. I got it. Socialism is bad. Just ask the Russians who are still using 1 ply toilet paper.

And while we're on the subject, and you're a captive (albeit, dead) audience, why don't I share my feelings on long books. I'm not afraid to read long books but I do get tired of them, no matter how great they are. Yours was pretty terrific (you got a "like", which is high praise my friend.) but even so, I felt like I had my fill and wanted out. But I couldn't get out until I finished. You see, I am a very loyal reader. I only read one book at a time. And I'm a slow reader. I like to soak it all in. So you can see what a commitment a big fat book is for me. That means that for weeks I can't read another book. And I spend all my time thinking about finishing it because I just want to know how it ends! So I keep reading and reading and reading, as fast as I can but not so fast that I miss everything and trying not to get discouraged that page 600 is only the halfway point.

Which brings me to another problem I have with long books. One of the things that makes me an 80 year old is my miserable memory. I can read a book and a week later I won't remember a thing about it. I like to think that in the eternities I will have a glorious memory and I will be able to recall all of the plot lines of the Anne of Green Gables books without Katie having to remind me, but for now that is just not possible. So it's pretty simple math that if I'm reading a book that takes about 4 weeks to get through the chances of me remembering what happened on page 200 or 400 or even 600 are about as high as me remembering my 7th grade locker combination. By the time I finished the book I could basically remember that a train was built through Colorado and that it was destroyed. It's not you, it's me. But you see what I'm getting at, right?

In conclusion I would like to say that I loved the book although you're slightly misguided in your philosophies. But that's all I'm going to say on that subject because, even though you're cold in the grave, I'm a little scared of you and I think your editor was too because there is no way a fully functioning editor would have let that speech go any longer than 10 pages.



Anonymous said...

Who is John Galt?

Tamar and Trevor said...

I am so with you on the memory thing. I think that it might be genetic.

Bronwyn James said...

AMEN Sistah. I read about the first three pages of his speech and when I realized that I would learn nothing in the next 55 pages that hadn't already been pounded into my brain in the last 800, I skipped to the next chapter. Good grief!