Monday, July 12, 2010

Magic Among the Pages

I'm a firm believer that like people, certain books come into your life when you need them the most. A few months back, during one of Ron Dickie'svisits to the States, we went to the amazing book store in York known as the York Emporium.It's filled with aisle after aisle of used books and odd trinkets of every imaginable flavor. I used to live a couple of blocks from the place and I've spent many hours among the bookshelves, getting lost.

During Dickie's visit, we were talking about what we've read or hadn't, and I told him I'd never read Robert McCammon's Boys Life. I'd read McCammon before and enjoy the hell out of his work. But somehow, Boy's Life slipped through the cracks for me.

Dickie dove into the stacks and bought me a copy and I finished reading it yesterday.

Monday's blogs are supposed to be an open ended question to you but I hope you'll forgive today's slight indiscretion. Today's Coroner's Report is an open letter to Robert McCammon.


Dear Mr. McCammon,

Thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Although I've read and thoroughly enjoyed quite a few of your books, somehow things never quite lined up for me to read Boy's Life until now.

To say the past couple of years of my life has been troublesome would be an understatement. Life has hills and valleys and I suppose it was just my turn to experience some low lying ground for a while.

It's been a long time since I've read something that pulled me in so wholly and completely that the experiences of the character spill over in such a way to truly touch my heart. While reading Boy's Life, I laughed out loud. I wept. I kept turning the pages to see how things were going to work out.

But most of all, I felt magic.

Thank you for reminding me of my childhood in so many ways.

Thank you for reminding me of the adventures I had growing up on a farm as a young boy; that I used to imagine sea serpents in our pond and creatures in the woods and was king of a castle in my barn. I once rode a wild stallion of a bicycle and had the world's best friend in the form of a dog and can recall the bittersweet moments that made me laugh while he was alive and be heartbroken at his loss.

Thank you for making me consider the magic all around us; for reminding me it still exists if we open our eyes. You've made me consider the gifts that storytellers have and the power they wield.

You've made me fall in love with being a writer all over again.

Yes, Mr. McCammon, magic does have a strong, strong heart.

May it never stop beating.

Bob Ford


Anonymous Sara J. Larson said...

I have read two copies of _Boy's Life_ to pieces. I'm so happy for you that you discovered it, and read it.

Mr. McCammon, ditto to what Bob said.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Sara, I can definitely see why. I think Boy's Life may be added to my once-a-year reading list. Amazing piece of work on so many levels.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

My first experience of Mr. McCammon's work was Boy's Life. I totally enjoyed it. Some of his work is a bit unworldly for me but I did enjoy The Queen of Bedlam as well.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous Rod Park said...

I have managed to find 18 copies of Boy's Life and given them away to people I like. I did keep 3 copies for myself! Thanks Mr. McCammon, you have given us back some of the magic.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Ron Dickie said...

And after all this, I realize how long it's been since I last read Boy's Life! Time for a re-read. :)

9:33 PM  
Blogger Ron Dickie said...

And after all that, I realize how long it's been since I last read Boy's Life! Time for a re-read. :)

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Boy's Life is different from any other book I have read. I've read it several times, and there will be many more times in the future. I find that every time I read it, I pick up on something I had previously missed. It is a magic book and has a strong effect on most readers. Glad you read it...I wish so many more would.


9:44 PM  
Blogger Skip Novak said...

Thoughtful, poignant and could not have been worded better by Salinger.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I also buy copies of Boy's Life and give them away. Read it three times myself and will probably read it once more in my life. Totally satisfying.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Thanks to all of your for your comments. It's amazing how certain books have such an enormous impact.

Next up for me is Craig Davidson's Sarah Court. I've read his collection Rust and Bone, as well as his first release, The Preserve and loved them both. This one is starting out very well.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks to you, next on "to buy" list...

10:58 AM  

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