Thursday, February 8, 2018

Got Them Ol' Influenza & Can't Read Blues, Mama

You can BUY this book from Amazon by clicking on the link above, or you can do what I did, and get the Gutenberg Australia version.

My Amazon review of the book is found here. It has no significance whatever, except that Amazon didn't lose it for a week, as it did two of my last seven reviews. This time, they posted it up in a hurry. Good for them.

My daily routine involves reading, and reviewing what I've read. The VAST majority of my reading is of novel-length works, and frequently those are installments in a series.
To do them justice requires first wakefulness, and then concentration.
Plot lines are often intricate; characters are well-developed.
The authors pour a great deal of themselves into their work, and I owe it to them, and to the reading public, to reflect their professionalism in my reviews.
I take my duty seriously; it's just the kind of job I hoped to get as a stripling youth.

And then, I got the flu.

I did not recognize it as such at first, so concentrated was I on my work. In fact it wasn't until I had spent most of one day entirely asleep in my chair that I had a clue that something might be off. For some strange reason, my reading material wasn't keeping my attention.

Then,  I woke up nauseous, and before the day was out, I had made a list of my symptoms, and SHAZAM! realized It Had Happened. I am reasonably certain that I was infected during my trip to the emergency room on January 31, which is documented in my blog post of February 1.

Among other things the flu did to me, I couldn't brain correctly. No ability to concentrate. Tried  watching movies, but SHORT youtube videos were about all I could tolerate. It wasn't so bad for the couple of days that I just slept all the time, but as I began to feel better, I HAD to  have SOMETHING to read.

There are a couple of sources of free literature out there. Of course, Kindle Unlimited isn't really free; I pay for the privilege of accessing these works, along with a LOT of other people. In fact. the most recent monthly Kindle payout to authors was $19.9 million dollars. But, having budgeted for KU, it's ALMOST free. Still, I couldn't brain, so I turned to Gutenberg and Gutenberg Australia. I love Gutenberg; not only can you get great literature which has passed into the public domain, you can also find such wondrous works as The Square Root of 4 To A Million Decimal Places by Norman L. De Forest.  But I digress.

I picked Damon Runyon, because I was looking for something else, and in my not-braining mode, that's what I got. I was actually looking for some Mickey Spillane or some other hard-eyed tough guy literature, figuring that braining would not be required. Runyon turns out to be a GREAT solution.

For folks of my age, it is not unusual to remember movie classics like 'Guys and Dolls" or "A Pocketful of Miracles," both of which were based on Runyon's work. But, for those a generation older, there was something even more charming in store; one of Shirley Temple's very first starring roles in movies, was "Little Miss Marker," adapted from his short story by the same name. Her talent was outstanding, but I think the movie falls short of the short story.
Shirley Temple, approx 1934

Now, most of these stories fall into the 'cute' category, but there is plenty of pathos as well. The characters with the distinctive names commit mayhem on each other without regard to social amenities. 'Live fast and die young' may not exactly be a RULE of the stories, but one particular victim is initially spoken of as being dead of old age, at 50. Usually, bad guys and dolls do good things, but not always without bad consequences. If anybody lives happily ever after, that is not featured in this volume.

Part of it is the insane societal pathology that is known as Prohibition. Two of the twenty-seven amendments to the Constitution were devoted to this particularly poorly-conceived attempt to drive the United States into the blessed arms of sobriety; instead, it was an instant cash cow that was milked by the bootleggers, and funded by millions of otherwise law-abiding citizens legislated into law-breakers. Why we cannot TODAY learn from this experience, and implement a rational recreational drug policy, I do not know. Until we do, dollars are going into the coffers of criminal organizations, instead of swelling the Treasury.

But, I digress.  Digression is to be expected when one is recovering from influenza, and also has a fat black Manx cat sitting on his left wrist, staring at one's roast beef sandwich. 

And the Amazon review is posted, and I still am depleted. This is what you get when I am depleted.

Peace be on your household.

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