What Happened To Fiction?


I haven’t read a book of fiction since Moby Dick was a guppy.

With hundreds of books piled about my space, I believe there are only two works of fiction among them.  There is an edition of the Divine Comedy, from which I read Dante’s Inferno.  This is the piece of fiction that I read, and that was years ago – went out in grand style, for sure.

The other is an edition of Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn…in German.  Since it is written in German, chances are that Dante Alighieri will continue to hold the title as my ‘last great fiction read.’

Of course, there are others that border on being fictional, such as Bill Clinton’s autobiography, My Life.  Similarly, if I did not practice book banning in my home, Dreams From My Father and The Audacity Of Hope would fall into dusty obscurity.

The disappearance of fiction books from my life is as big of a question as to why dinosaurs disappeared from the face of the planet.  Obviously, however, it wasn’t caused by a comet or meteorite crashing through my world as I am still here.

Perhaps it occurred with the growth of CNN, where I could now view twisted reality 24/7.

Maybe it was due to my developing a habit of reading while on the crapper and during that limited time I wanted to read something more substantial than a few pages of the developing characterization of some fictional protagonist.

Whatever the reason, the likes of Rowling, Patterson, and E.L. James have not been able to magically and mysteriously seduce me away from the likes of McCullough, Ambrose, and Theodore White.

Barnes & Noble is trying to drive me away from non-fiction as the most popular books in this genre that they stick in your face are self-help books and books written on or by some celebrity who should have read some of the self-help books.  It will not work; I’m still pissed that they survived and Borders died way too soon.

I’m sure that there have been many great books since fiction went into exile.  Perhaps Tom Clancy and Robert Ludlum could keep me coming back for more like Zane Grey and Jack London once did.  Could John Grisham hold Ellery Queen’s spy glass?

I don’t know.

I have never seen Star Wars either.


2 Comments to “What Happened To Fiction?”

  1. For me, it was always a good Louis L’Amour paperback. My Dad had quite a collection of them, and I spent many hours enthralled with the stories the author would tell.

    You’ve got a nice place here.

    All the best, . .

    • Thank you. My Dad was the same; he’d go through 2 a day when he had the time. I’d go to the library to read the latest issue of Sports Illustrated and he tell me, “bring back a good Western.”

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