It was as if everything in the world had vanished and the only things still in existence were myself and the book I was gripping in my hands. Stunned into a semi-comatose state by the turgid writing, I knew that I was fast approaching a state where only a shot of adrenalin would be my only salvation.

But then, what can one expect, picking up a book from the stack of cheap hardcovers in a grocery store, so drastically reduced in price that the author’s commission might only be measured in pennies?


Normally, I love it when a book grabs my attention in a way that the outside world is like some alternate universe, and the only reality is that created by the writer. But bad writing, really, really bad writing, as exhibited by the likes of jackie Collins, James Patterson and Harold Robbins, creates a sort of trap, a maze from which the hapless reader may never emerge with their sanity intact.

To those names we must add that of Michael Savage, the rabid radio host whose view of humanity seems so dark and twisted that one is not so much seduced by his writing as corrupted.


Once you willingly enter the world of truly bad writing, is there any hope of redemption?

Yes, I know that Savage is an unpleasant little man who rants on a regular basis about Islam, liberals, and feminism, among other topics. In short, listening to Michael Savage is like reading Facebook posts from the perpetually angry.


This is, after all, a man who seems to believe that feminism might be a radical Islamist plot against America. A man who believed that Obama sought to use the Crips and the Bloods in an effort to control white America.

But none of those concerns mattered to me as I turned page after page of Countdown to Mecca, held in place by writing so bad that Jacqueline Susann seemed like Hemingway in comparison.

In fact, if Tracy hadn’t tackled me and reminded me that we needed to finish our shopping, I might still be there, unshaven, not having eaten for days, my eyes glued to the pages of Countdown to Mecca.


A fate, as they say, worse than death . . .


Today’s Soundtrack

Listening to Bill Conti’s soundtrack for the best of the Rocky movies, “Rocky III.”

Why? Cuz I like it, that’s why.


Now on YouTube: Liz Garriss – You give me Fever

A selection of music from Ms. Liz Garriss, including two versions of “You Give me Fever.”


Quote of the Day

At the age of five, Skagra decided emphatically that God did not exist. This revelation tends to make most people in the universe who have it react in one of two ways – with relief or with despair. Only Skagra responded to it by thinking, Wait a second. That means there’s a situation vacant. – Gareth Roberts, Doctor Who: Shada (based upon the scripts by Douglas Adams)