As you may know, I do not currently have the financial wherewithal to do the kind of travel that I yearn to do. Although I am working on changing that, in the meantime, the head-in-the-clouds dreamer that I am often passes the time by reading.
I frequently go through genre/author phases when I read. Five or so years ago I went on an “American classics” kick (think J.D. Salinger and John Kennedy Toole). One summer I devoured those dystopian sci-fi masterpieces from the mid-20th century (“Brave New World,” “Fahrenheit 451,” and “1984” – my favorite novel of all time). I read all seven “Harry Potter” books in just 12 days. During my late teens I raced through several political yarns by the late Tom Clancy. I even convinced myself a few years ago that Russian literature should be my next foray into classical literature…but I failed after just one book – Boris Pasternak’s snail-paced “Doctor Zhivago.”
My favorite author is – and always has been – Stephen King. I first discovered his writing in the late 1980’s when, as a teenager, I went through a serious horror phase. I subscribed to Fangoria and Cinefantastique magazine and I rented every grade-D slasher movie that I could get my hands on – never mind the fact that I was under 17. In fact, I was only 13 when I first saw Mr. King’s “Pet Sematary” on an end cap at the local Waldenbooks. The cover art – which showed an angry cat and the silhouette of a man carry a dead body towards a cemetery – spoke to me. I figured that the word “sematary” was deliberately misspelled, but why? I parted with five dollars of my hard-earned paper route money, bought the book, and was hooked.