After work last Friday, I had some extra time before I needed to pick up Drummer at the museum where he works. I found myself driving to the local bookstore. Not just to browse through their books, but also for their white chocolate Lindt Linder Balls.
When I walked in the store, I saw a display featuring The Historian in hardback. And on CD. And with a “40% Off” sign. And it was payday.
Before I could talk myself out of it, I grabbed the box and headed toward the cashier. I’d seen him before. Tall, intelligent-looking, with blue eyes. As I purchased the book (and a few Linder Balls) we chatted for a bit about The Historian and how we’d both heard it was good. Then I left, picked up Drummer, drove him home then picked up Ikuni and drove her to the drama school for a rehearsal (which explains how I've put almost 10,000 miles on my Stratus in the last four months).
Somewhere in there, I looked at the box more closely and saw on the back, in tiny print, “Abridgment approved by the author.” Abridgement? I think not. As soon as I dropped off Ikuni, I headed back to the bookstore.
Different cashier this time—a friendly older man with a full beard. He asked if I’d like to exchange the audio book for something else. Hmm. That was tempting. But, for what? Just at that moment, the White Stripes latest song started playing over the store’s sound system:
You got a reaction
You got a reaction, didn't you?
You took a white orchid
You took a white orchid turned it blue
There was an idea. I’d already heard the song on the radio and had thought about getting the album one day. I walked to the music section, found the CD and started back toward the cash register, still not sure if I wanted to actually buy it. On the way, I bumped into Mr. tall, intelligent-looking, with blue eyes. He smiled in recognition.
“I returned the audio book,” I said. “It was abridged. I just can’t miss a word.” I held up the White Stripes CD. “I’m thinking of getting this instead. Have you heard much about it?”
“I haven’t listened to it,” he said, blandly. “If you like their music…I’ve heard other people say it’s good.”
I paused. Was I imagining it, or was there a hint of derision in his voice? I couldn’t tell. I wanted to say, “Hey, I listen to Mozart, Stravinsky, and Thelonious Monk, too, you know.” Instead, I just said thanks, walked to the front, and bought the CD.
I read in the newspaper that Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian, received an advance of $2,050,000.00 for the novel.