BORED.

Aug. 16th, 2010 11:28 pm
scriptamanet: (did I just text a murderer?)
[personal profile] scriptamanet
Today, in a fit of rage about the state of the young adult section at the bookstore near our hotel, I bought War and Peace and Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories. (Yes, I buy books when I'm angry. Shut up.) I then went to a Caribou Coffee, because I also buy coffee when I'm angry. Not only did the cute barista ask me if I'd bought any good books and complement me on my taste, after I told him I'd bought them because I was angry about the young adult section, he looked at me very solemnly and said, "As we all should be." AMAZING. He then recommended me a book I'd like if I enjoyed Dune and War and Peace, but I have completely forgotten the name. Of course.

The actual point of this post, however, is to comment on the introduction of the Sherlock Holmes collection. Written by Loren Estleman in 1986, it's...interesting. He has an incredible mancrush on Watson, and he goes for the "Holmes and Watson were real, not invented by some dude named Doyle, wouldn't that be silly, hohoho" shtick, which is mildly annoying. However, this passage caught my eye:

...and those who suggest homosexuality, as they have of every other famous male team from Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday to Batman and Robin, either are ignorant of the largely masculine character of late nineteenth-century English society or stubbornly refuse to accept Holmes' much-discussed misogyny at face value.

When I first read it, I basically thought, "Whatever, old man who publishes Holmes fanfic1." But then, with no apparent irony, he writes this:

In A Study In Scarlet, [the first-time reader] will discover Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the flush of youth, shyly and curiously learning each other's secrets like a honeymooning couple as they embark upon a lifetime of intrigue and danger."

This is on the facing page to previous paragraph. The passages are right next to each other. I SHIT THEE NOT. I've recorded my initial thoughts for posterity next to the second one, which are something along the lines of, "Hahahaha, wtf, do you even read what you're writing." So far, the stories themselves have been far superior to the introduction.

Also, you may or may not expect some chapter reviews of War and Peace in coming days. Partly for your edification, and partly because I dread Russian authors so fucking much that I need some kind of motivation to keep me reading.

1. No, seriously.

Date: 2010-08-17 11:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zeitheist.livejournal.com
Not only did the cute barista ask me if I'd bought any good books and complement me on my taste, after I told him I'd bought them because I was angry about the young adult section, he looked at me very solemnly and said, "As we all should be."

Oh man I want him.

I love that you buy books when you're angry. Also, Loren Estleman sounds like a douche, however: that first paragraph appeals to me not only on a fandom level, but also on an academic level! Also, "ignorant of the largely masculine character of late nineteenth-century English society" - is he trying to imply that homosexuals weren't invented until the twentieth century? I think he is.

Date: 2010-08-17 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scriptamanet26.livejournal.com
I really need to go back to that coffee shop before I leave for uni. (Funny story: I'd actually gone in to that bookstore to buy Palimpsest. However, considering it's called Borders Express, and it's the only bookshop in the mall, I shouldn't have been as disappointed as I was to find they didn't have it. I'll get it eventually!)

It calms me down to know I have shiny new books with me. (It does not make my mother nearly as calm.) I mostly find it hilarious that the only example he could come up with besides Batman and Robin was Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. I can think of half a dozen better examples just in cowboy movies. BUT ANYWAY. Yeah, that's what I generally assumed he meant, then completely tried to forget he'd even implied it.

Date: 2010-08-17 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nova33.livejournal.com
Yay for cute baristas!

....that is confusing.

Date: 2010-08-17 10:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scriptamanet26.livejournal.com
I really need to go back. The super-sugary latte he made me was amazing.

I'm just going to presume he was on drugs and move on.

Date: 2010-08-18 02:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] heretherebefic.livejournal.com
o_O Indecisive Estleman is indecisive.

or stubbornly refuse to accept Holmes' much-discussed misogyny at face value.

...Is he suggesting that the thought process here is "Holmes dislikes women because he's gay, which is totally an excuse"? Because that's... wrong in so many imaginative ways, I can't even...

The young adult section at our local Barnes and Noble is 25% Twilight, 50% Non-Twilight Vampires, 20% Non-Vampire-Related Crap and 5% Actually Good books. The last time I asked someone at the customer service desk for a recommendation, she led me to the children's section. And I'm pretty sure I actually found better books there.

Date: 2010-08-18 10:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scriptamanet26.livejournal.com
I know! That's the best part. Did he go on a tropical vacation in between writing those two pages?

Clearly that's just the reaction these young honeymooners provoke in people.

I barely even bother going into the young adult section anymore. What really bothers me, though, is the "Literature" section. Yes, Huckleberry Finn and To Kill A Mockingbird are high literature! No question! PUT THEM IN THE YOUNG ADULT SECTION SO THE PEOPLE WHO SHOULD BE READING THEM WILL FIND THEM. SAFKISADLJKAJA. (This was the final melt-down that enabled the book buying. That, and even though the Complete Sherlock Holmes was two-thirds the price of any book in the YA section, there were still more copies left on the shelf.)

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