Sunday, July 10, 2005

Disappointment, History, & Baseball

*Editor's Note: I noticed that the brains at Blogger finally caught up on the post count and The Political Game is sitting at 157 posts. It's about time! That 62 number was a bit discouraging.

I think Orson Scott Card titled one of his recent posts beginning with the word disappointment... it may have had something to do with Batman Begins, can't quite remember. Anyway, my disappointment has nothing to do with the film, but rather a recent read. Over the weekend I read London Bridges by James Patterson and as I finished it a few minutes ago I felt very disappointed. I love James Patterson, almost as much as I love the fact that when they make his novels into movies Morgan Freeman plays the charming D.C. detective and psychiatrist Alex Cross, but his latest addition to the Alex Cross series is horrible.

Okay, not horrible. It is afterall still Alex Cross, the Dragonslayer (and no, I"m not talking about George Hansen), and it is still the brilliant mind of James Patterson at work, but here's my problem with it--it's too real. I'm really picky about books. If they are history books, they have to be history, I will not read My Life until Bill Clinton dies and I won't read the smut and trash that the Kelly lady writes about the Bush family. History is history and a good history book has to be about something that hasn't happened in my lifetime. When I begin a book I don't want it to be eerily similar to real life events.. I love the willing suspension of disbelief. I like to pick up a book, read it cover to cover, and never once remember that it is real life. I like to forget the world when I pick up a book. The problem with London Bridges is it is too real. Terrorism is too much a part of everyday life right now. It's in the news, it's a common threat, and it scares me. I don't want to spend my free time reading about it. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

The story picked up where Pop Goes the Weasel and The Big Bad Wolf left off. Alex Cross is again up against two ruthless killers and this time at a much larger scale. Cross is exceptional, his personal life is a nice touch and a needed distraction from The Job, but somewhere along the way the work of James Patterson was no longer unique, it was too similar to that of Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy. If I wanted to be discomforted and reminded of the bleak terror stricken world, I would have turned on CNN. Bridges was creepy mostly because of this post-9/11 world and last week's events in London.

Better luck next time, James Patterson. Hopefully 4th of July (Patterson's latest installment in the Women's Murder Club series) is better and makes up for this poor attempt to bank on the Alex Cross series.

My comment on history was mostly how I choose history related books, but also for anyone wondering, this date in history saw President John F. Kennedy throw the ceremonial first pitch at the MLB All-Star Game (July 10, 1962) at D.C. Stadium--now the newly renovated RFK Memorial Field. The All-Star Game is Tuesday, Home Run Derby tomorrow night, and interesting fact, President Kennedy is the only president in the history of the league to throw a pitch at an All-Star Game.

Last comment on baseball today--that little brother of mine that I was bragging about in the last week or so took first place in the BABA Bambino League Championships. They played a double-header Thursday night (it got dark on a light-less field) and then played one inning Friday in scorching heat. The kid is pretty good under pressure. He had 8 stolen bases, 2 homeruns, and struck out 9 hitters in 11 innings. Congrats to him and the Walton team!

So that's about it for the weekend. It has been a beautiful weekend, but it's time to get back to business soon. I see a Supreme Court fight lurking on the horizon and I'm still researching for a Lincoln Forum scholarship essay I've got to dive into this week.

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