December 8, 2012

Literary Pick (***)

A Thousand Country Roads 
-Robert James Waller 

I didn't know where this book was heading at the beginning. At first I wondered if I was even reading the epilogue to Bridges.

I remember I once went to a performance by Dave Brubeck, the recently deceased famed jazz musician. Dave was wrapping up a wonderful show when he asked the audience if we had any special requests, and of course, having not yet heard him play Take-5, we all echoed take-5. But Dave asked if instead we wouldn't prefer to listen to Laura, but we were like "noooo, we want take-5!" people kept chanting Take-5, Take-5! Dave Brubeck was so annoyed. With a frown Dave swatted the audience, as if to say, "you people always asking for the same thing, always wanting to hear take 5." and so Dave rolled his eyes and pushed out the shittiest rendition of Take-5 he has ever done. He did that on purpose, just to show us. I felt so cattle-like at that moment. A bunch of dopes.

It seems as if Robert Waller did this with A Thousand Country Roads to shut up undying fans of his original novel The Bridges of Madison County. He probably wanted to turn people on to Laura, but people were like noooo, Bridges! I Can't exactly say it was "a shitty rendition", but it definitely felt like a toss of a dirty metal bowl of food on the porch for the dogs type of deal.
I guess readers simply couldn't accept the fact that Francesca and Robert don't ever meet again. We all knew that from the first book, so why read this one? For me it was wanting to have them in my heart, alive again. I remember reading Bridges back in the early 90'a and literally bawling my eyes out, same when the movie came out, which is odd because movies to me don't usually translate well on film, but it was that good. I think many people easily dismiss bridges because "it's a love story of two old people"... but replace Meryl and Clint with two young sexy actors and I think it would've had a broader, wider appeal. This entire novel has been unfairly judged by many from the beginning, even myself, thinking how silly and sentimental the title was alone.
I recommend this book to people who read The Bridges of Madison County, or watched the movie.


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