Ron Currie Jr. is a really excellent writer, and as far as I can tell, a reasonably swell guy. I read his first book, God is Dead, shortly after it came out. I bought it in hardcover from the Borders in Pittsburgh that I could walk to. It was the kind of read that made me feel like proselytizing. I lent the book to as many people as I could before one lendee did not give it back. My copy, wherever it is, contains a signed book plate, and corners gray with wear and a cover that’s nearly not.
Understanding that writers are people in a way for which I have Tim Parrish to be grateful (among a great, great many other things), I sent Ron Currie Jr. an email thanking him for his wildly enjoyable book and complimenting his writing. He, in turn, sent me a signed book plate. I facebook friend requested him, and now I am occasionally delighted by writerly status updates from him & get a little thrill of admiration.
This sort of thing also makes me think about how the internet makes the world smaller. Twitter and Facebook compress the entire world into a single room. I have friends I’ve never met.
Anyhow. Currie’s new book, Everything Matters!, is a ton different from God is Dead, but just amazing. I’m not even halfway through, but I get excited to read in ways I haven’t in sort of a while.
I have traditionally read Lorrie Moore or Amy Hempel when I want to feel inspired to write. I have also read far, far more contemporary fiction writers than classical ones, I’m afraid. In 20-50 years, the people I read now will be canonical. I hope.
I play this game, Quizzo, and it makes me feel under-read sometimes. So I decided to bust out some classics I own but have not yet read. So I picked up Moll Flanders and Silas Marner. I love the Victorians and find Silas Marner to be a far more agreeable read than Moll Flanders, especially sine the copy I have of Moll is prefaced by some academic wanking that is so repugnantly ignorant of the middle class that it made me snort a few times and quit reading. The novel itself seems to be okay, but if I want to take a train through dullsville, I’ll have to be more upright and caffienated. So I went and scared up the copy of Everything Matters!.
Everything Matters is the kind of book that could keep me up reading all night. It gets me all dizzy and itching to write. It inspires me and strikes me with awe. Currie messes with point of view so successfully, and his wit and observations hit me the way the best from Steve Almond do, or everything from Brock Clarke does. Clarke is the author of my present favorite book, The Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England, which may get supplanted by Everything Matters!.