Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Let there be Loud Clashing Cymbals and the Sound of Brass

I read my first e-book today and, as far as I know, the earth did not stop spinning in the heavens.
by Charlie Leck

(The Good Rat by Jimmy Breslin)
“I can barely handle legitimate people. They all proclaim immaculate honesty, but each day they commit the most serious of all felonies, being a bore. To whom do you care to listen, Warren Buffett, the second richest and single most boring person on earth, or Burt Kaplan out of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn?

“He testifies in simple declarative sentences, subject, verb and object, one following the other to start a rhythm that is compelling to the jury’s ear. As I listen on this first morning of excruciating excitement, Kaplan comes out of all the ages of crime, out of Dostoyevsky, out of the Moors Murders, out of Murder Inc. A few words spoken by Burt Kaplan on his Brooklyn porch send animals rushing out to kill. I am thinking this when the court breaks for lunch. I go over to the Park Plaza Diner right across the street. When I walk in, Bettina Schein comes up to me. She is a pretty and smart criminal lawyer assisting Bruce Cutler, who represents one of the cops.

“’What do you think of the witness?’ she says.

“’I was just thinking of...’

“’Rashkolnikov!’ she says.”

Let me assure you that it did not feel the same as I read the last sentence in the last paragraph on the last page. First of all, there was no book to close. There was no place on the inside-front-cover to adhere my book plate. I did not need to go over to the Bs in the fiction section of my library to fit it into its place with the other Breslin books between the BOs and the BREZ authors.

Yet, the world had not come to an end. Quite the opposite, this morning, as I sat in a big easy chair in my living room, reading in the dull gray light of a very rainy and gloomy morning, the electricity in the area shut down and it went dark in the house as all the lights flickered and went off. I was startled, but not by the flickering, failing lights. I was very surprised to see that my ebook reader – my iPad – glowed on brightly. And, I was able to read on as if nothing had happened around me.

The only little inconvenience I had was that I felt I wanted to make a notation on one paragraph about a quotation I wanted to include in this blog; and I had to reach for a post-it note to jot down the page number and position of the words so I could later find them and type them out here.

Otherwise, I was surprised at the pleasure I took from reading this way. Had I save a part of some important rain forest somewhere? It’s a comfortable way to read and I had the freedom to enlarge the font size or to diminish it. I took the book with me to the doctor’s office this morning and read on as I awaited my lab tests to be taken. Three other people were reading from their ebook machines also.

The world is changing – and not spinning out of control.

(About the Author)
“Jimmy Breslin was born in Jamaica, Queens. He was awarded the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for distinguished commentary. His bestselling and critically acclaimed books include The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight; Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?; The Short Sweet Dream of Eduardo GutiĆ©rrez; several anthologies; and the memoir, I Want to Thank my Brain for Remembering Me. He lives on Broadway, the Big Street in New York City

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1 comment:

  1. What a coincidence, we just became the owners of a Kindle.