Parajunkee.com and http://www.alisoncanread.com. This week their featured blogs are from the shadows i review and Cece's Garden of Reviews. Be sure to hop over to these fine blogs and take a look.
Today's question is: If you had to spend eternity inside the pages of a book, which book would you choose, and why?
This question definitely strikes a chord with me. When I was a kid I spent most of my spare time reading. The worlds I entered through those SF, historical and sports novels were wonderful places to be and I still remember how wistful I felt when I finished the last page and had to close the book. Soon I began to choose my books based in part on the width of the spine: the larger the book, the longer I could spend in that wonderful world.
If I had to choose one of those worlds, the one that has stayed with me the most, I'd have to choose the one created by Samuel R. Delany in his Fall of the Towers trilogy. I realize this is reaching back a ways through the years, as the three novels were published in the late 1960s and re-published in revised form as a single book under the title The Fall of the Towers in 1970, but I think if you were to find a copy today and started to read it, you'd understand what I mean when I say that this is a world not to be missed. Given that Delany wrote his first novel, The Jewels of Aptor, when he was 19 and published the first novel in the Towers trilogy, Captives of the Flame, when he was 21, you can perhaps understand why this story resonated so strongly with me when I was 15.
I identified with the young fisherman's son, Tel, who ran away to the island city of Toron, capital of Toromon, and fell in with an amazing assortment of people, including the mesmerizing young acrobat Alter, Prince Let, Tel's opposite, the intellectual Clea, the poet Vol Nonik, the giant Quorl and the dwarf Lug, and of course the protagonist, Jon Koshar. I thrilled at the danger of the plot against the young king and the risk of going into the radiation zone, I savored the poetry of Delany's prose (since he is dyslexic, it was a marvel that he wrote so magnificently!), and I brooded over the secret meaning of the Lord of the Flames. It was a wonderful place.
As an adult I enjoy re-reading many of the stories I loved when I was younger, but to be honest with you I've not been able to re-read The Fall of the Towers for a long time. In the 70s Delany made radical changes in his fiction and lost the poetry and magic that had infused his work when he was young, so I stopped following him. Toromon is now my Arcadia, remembered paradise, sacred in the past, still so very close, but now, alas, unattainable.
But I would love very much to go back there.