I look at my watch and crunch the numbers, and decide to keep going. One more. I have time. Besides, it’s a short chapter. Kind of. Everything else can wait.
Actually, the decision was made for me. I had to read more. Besides, I wasn’t really reading but consuming the book page by page. And I was ravenous.
I wanted more. More of the words which formed a running movie in my head. So, somehow in my crammed schedule, I stole time to read some more.
All you readers know just what I mean. I’m sure you could name a book or 30 that grabbed you like this. You rush to the end but are sad when it comes. Or maybe you slow down as you approach the conclusion savoring each scene, page, and word. When the end comes, you are both sad and exhilarated. For those of us who are also writers, maybe — like me — you feel a pang of jealousy and awe. You hope that you move people as you have been moved and are blown away by the writer’s skill.
I recently read Johnathan Tropper’s One Last Thing Before I Go. I became aware of Mr. Tropper while reading a review of one of his books at http://alenaslife.wordpress.com. One Last Thing Before I Go focuses on a man in his 40s. His life is screwed up both personally (divorced, very distant relationship with his daughter) and professionally (after being the drummer of a band that had one hit song, he periodically plays weddings and bar mitzvahs). He gets the news that he must have surgery, or he will die. He decides his life is not worth saving. However, before he goes, he sets three goals: be a better man, be a better father, and fall in love. The book is about his uneven pursuit to fill these goals. There were moments of humor, sadness, and downright lunacy which encompassed both. I lost track of how many times I read a line or scene that forced me to ponder and think, “I wish I would have said that.”
Ultimately, this book made me feel writerish (I know that’s not a word, but I am using it anyway. For anyone who used to listen to Richie Ashburn announce Phillies games, this is a tip of the cap to him; he used to periodically announce that a particular batter looks hitterish.) I added a few chapters to the novel that I have been writing in my head. I have a short story idea that I will be pursuing. I already stole an idea for a recent blog. I am in a writing state of mind.
So, grab a copy of One Last Thing Before I Go byJonathan Tropper. But be prepared to change your schedule.