I just did something I’ve not done in a while.

I finished a novel ;-)

Sadly, it was one that was sitting on my shelf a long time, picked up maybe 2 years ago in a local thrift store recommended by Brian when he visited here.


I’m not going to launch into some sort of heavy literary analysis, but it was a helluva a ride through a mashup of fact and fiction revolving around Lee Harvey Oswald (or was it Hidell? or Leon or ??) and making him as close as you can get to sympathetic yet showing more layers than the card board cut-out assassin. There is a whole swirling cast of players who vary in degree of disturbing personality to psychotic. What I was most taken by (maybe cause I read too many online things where the writing is general flat- like my own) was DeLillio’s complex weaving / jumping of conversations and thought trains of the odder characters like Oswald’s mother or Ferrie. The subtle threads of the zodiac sign of the title and the way the balance is tipped any where but balanced… The off beat repetition of metaphors. And the end, which is known, is not really the destination, it was the fictional yet plausible path there. There is no answer, no good guys / bad guys.

Of all things that stuck out it was a streaming paragraph that was merely setting while the manic Jack Ruby zips around Dallas– the voice of a radio DJ:

Weird Beard said, “I know what you think. You think I’m making it up. I’m not making it up. If it gets from me to you, it’s true. We are for real, kids. And this is the question I want to leave you with tonight. Who is for real and who is sent to take notes? You’re out there in the depths of the night, listening in secret, and the reason you’re listening in secret is because you don’t know who to trust except me. We’re the only ones who aren’t them. This narrow little band is a route to the troot. I’m not making it up. There are two things in the world. Things that are true. And things that are truer than true. We need this private alley where we can meet. Because this is big D, which stands for Don’t be Dissimilar. Am I coming in all right? Is my signal clear? We’re the sneaky little secret they are trying to uncover. Do you think I’m making it up? I’m not making it up. Weird Beard says, Eat your cereal with a fork. Do your homework in the dark. And trust your radio before you trust your mother.”

Jack had no idea what the guy was saying.

Swap a little “blog” in for radio, and this would be a wild post, maybe Bava worthy?

And ironically, that background of paranoia was exactly where Jack in the story tuned into internally.

Yet more ironically, and not surprising there was a real DJ in the early 1960s in Dallas nicknamed “Weird Beard”.

I have no idea what this guy (me) is writing, but it was a dark ride through Libra, but refreshing to dip into an off kilter path of writing.

Eat your cereal with a fork.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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