September 14th, 2005

good mris pic


Yesterday I reread Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede. The lesson of that book the first time around was something about books and their covers -- I had avoided reading it when it came out, when I was a teenager and the library had a gajillion copies in the unorganized paperback section, because the combination of title and cover made me go, "Ew, no thanks." I still suspect that the combination of title and cover put off the people who would enjoy it and encouraged the people who wouldn't. On the other hand, it really was a book called Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede; that was a right title for it, and I can't think of another. So I don't know what.

On the reread, I had the idiosyncracies of my recall highlighted. What scene stuck with me from that book? There's a bit where the main character and his mother are up on the roof with a tornado coming, and they go down into the bathroom and crouch in the bathtub with their mattress over them, singing "Every Day" as loud as they can while the tornado goes on outside. I remembered that scene down to which Buddy Holly song it was. But I feel no compunctions about saying what happened in it, because it is not even remotely crucial to the plot. It totals probably less than a page; it occurs less than a third of the way into the book. And yet there it is, wedged permanently in my head as really, really important.

It could be the tornado (for those of you who haven't been around here long enough to hear it: my college was hit by a tornado during spring break of my junior year). I don't think it was, though. I think that was just my scene, the one that hit all the right spots for me. The one I would want to hang onto later. You never know which one that's going to be in a book, which one is going to make the reader go, "Oh, and I loved that bit where...." Strange, persnickety things, readers.