Tuesday, July 09, 2002

One-handed Reading
No, this is not about those couple pages near the back of Bust magazine. You're dirty.

I had to stand on the bus this morning, which was a drag. Before you start sawing away at the World's Tiniest Violin, let me explain that I'm reaching the end of a really good book: Purple America by Rick Moody (lent to me by the belter, who hasn't steered me wrong yet). It's hard to turn pages while holding on and trying to stand up on the 133 SFU as it barrels down Hwy 1.

There's more brilliance in one paragraph of Purple America than I could muster in a lifetime of wordsmithery. I guess Moody is most famous for writing The Ice Storm. I haven't read it, but I thought the movie was the feel-good hit of the year. Purple America casts a similar glow in its dissection of the well-heeled and uneven keeled. Its shifts in voice and tone are brilliant and Moody strikes me as one of those guys who's scarily intelligent. He certainly knows a lot about power grids, utilities and suchlike. I wonder what he did in his previous work life. Perhaps there'll be a job opening for him at Xantrex once he's done with the writing thing.

At least I know I'll have seat on the milk run going home—an interminable journey on the 144 that winds its way down Burnaby Mtn., across Kensington, into the loop at Bby Municipal Hall (tantalizingly close to home, but too far to walk and save any time), through Heritage Village for god's sake, and concludes at glamorous Metrotown. I'll get to finish the book off then.

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