Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Book worm.

I'm always a little sad when I read the very last page of a new favorite book.

It feels like such a let down, so "Now what?!" especially when I've been so invested in the words - and world - of a damn good book.

I flat-out wept when I finished "The Historian." Elizabeth Kostova beautifully ended her amazing, suspenseful and sometimes frightening book with a humane look at Dracula. I sometimes flip through to page 676 (smelling the book first, of course, as I fan the pages out), read that final page, and still get goosebumps from the image I can so clearly see. Kostova writes:

"He looks not at all like a man in constant peril - a leader whose death could occur at any hour, who should be pondering every moment the question of his salvation. He looks instead, the abbot thinks, as if all the world is before him."

To write like that is a quest of mine every time I pick up a pen or set my fingers on a keyboard.
I want people to see the setting sun's light shining through the windows as Dracula pensively looks out over his domain. I want them to feel its warmth on their face.

"The Historian" was the first book in a very, very long time that I finished and immediately began rereading. The next book that I did that with came this week.

I received "Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga" by Stephen Davis.


This delicious romp took me inside the world of my favorite band whose music I find so inspiring. They are so mythical and mystical, and I would give just about anything to have been able to roam the earth with them in their heyday.

Davis' style is fluid, and the tales he tells about the band's infamous lore runs the gamut from sex-laden escapades to Southern blues to black magic to the inevitable end.

Just like I knew the boat sank in "Titanic," I knew drummer John Bonham would die, and Led Zeppelin would be no more. But, again like "Titanic," I became invested in the band from a whole different plane.

Sure, I read the stories and even boast that I want to be the "mudshark girl" on my MySpace page, but as I read "Hammer of the Gods," Davis' writing tricked me into thinking that I wasn't reading about "the band that was," I was reading about a band that is.

I was there in the beginning, when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant sequestered themselves in Jimmy's house to get to know each other. I was on every American tour - more conquerings than tours, really. I was there when Jimmy met his 14-year-old concubine. I was there for every debauched step, every sip of booze and every cigarette inhale. Just like I walk in the foggy mystic and medieval world I picture when I hear the music, I was there with Led Zeppelin through every legendary step.

That's the beauty of a good writer - that's what makes a good writer - and that's the beauty of words.

"For such magic to succeed, it must tap the sources of magical energy,

and this can be dangerous."

William S. Burroughs "Rock Magic"

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