The David Foster Wallace book, which I got for 50 PHP is still unfinished after 3 painful months. I almost hated books and reading in general because of this difficult book. I have a feeling that some of the things I’ve read so far are funny but I can’t be very sure. In short, A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again has the power to make you feel stupid. Lesson learned: limit purchase of books that have cute titles.
This is what happens when you try to get your hands on books that you think is a big deal, because their authors killed themselves or because the titles are cute. This is just like the time I bought Kate Bush’s Aerial CD just because it has a nice cover and because it’s so cheap. Her voice is very weird and I can’t bear to listen to her again even if she’s supposed to be a hybrid of Tori and whoever else does that kind of singing. I’m thinking of a future when I’m so broke that I’d have to sell all the worthless things I bought by virtue of their being cheap.
I lament being unable to read as much as I want to, even though its David Sedaris, Augusten Burroughs and Franny & Zooey that I mostly read. I intend to read more Filipino authors but what I’ve noticed about local books is that unless you’ve heard about them from somewhere, you’d have no idea what they’re really about because in place of a book summary, what you get are blurbs and the authors’ educational backgrounds. Are the readers supposed to care that the writer graduated from the University of Quezon City when published authors like Bob Ong, who isn’t very good, is a best-seller, and whose educational history we know nothing about? His books don’t have much in the way of summary either, but he has the distinct advantage of creating very accessible reading matter. You may see him as a humorist who can be funny but who just tries too hard, but his publishers don’t see the need to plaster his book jackets with complete details on where he got his Masters in Silly Writing.
I reread Archie & Jughead and I must say, it’s still the best thing to read in any day at any age. I can claim to like the later works of Ian McEwan or the early Patricia Highsmith but nothing is as fun to read as the two boneheads from Riverdale. I’m so sorry I sold all my Archie comics to some girl who took advantage of my innocence. I’m sorry too that I lent some of them to kids who saw no difference between borrowing and taking.
I’m sure there’s someone out there who covets this David F. Wallace book and if you’re someone who has many Archie comics, I’ll trade my A Supposed Fun Thing (such a long title) for 10 Archie/Jughead Double Digest. 10 because I believe A Supposed Fun Thing is quite valuable in spite of itself. Will negotiate too with anyone who has A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, also from the Books With The Cute and Catchy Title cannon.