Michael Haskins

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A World Without Books - Guest Blogger Randy Rawls

A World without Books

When I visit a site such as Michael's and see all the excellent books reviewed and recommended, I wonder what life would be like without books. Of course, when I say books in this context, I mean fiction, written for the enjoyment of others.

I think back over the years and remember some of the great stories I've read. Just a couple:

To Kill a Mockingbird. Harper Lee's only book has attracted millions of readers around the world. I re-read it every few years, and each time I get more out of it. Such a pleasure to explore with Scout, to worry about "Boo" Radley, to see the respect she has for her father, the love for her brother, and all the other wonderful emotions Ms. Lee captures. And, of course, to learn about the evil of racism through the eyes of a young girl. Who can say what impact her book had on the struggle for equality? I think, much. Without her book, there would have been no movie. And without that movie, Gregory Peck's career would not have been what it was. Maybe he would have won an Oscar for another role, but he DID win for playing Atticus Finch—that's a fact. Four others who participated in the movie won Oscars. Five more were nominated. All this because Harper Lee wrote one book—not even a big book. But it was a book that lives on today, fifty-one years after its first publication.

Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway. Unlike To Kill a Mockingbird, this book was one of many from its author. Although only a novella, the simple story has stuck around for forty-nine years, picking up a Pulitzer Prize in 1952. In 1958, Spencer Tracy starred in its movie adaptation. The movie won one Oscar and Tracy and the cinematographer were nominated for Oscars. It had a reincarnation as made-for-TV-movie in 1990 starring Anthony Quinn and racked up a stack of Emmy nominations. Without Hemingway's little story, none of the awards would have been possible.

So many great stories written over the generations. Far too many for me to continue to use Michael's blog to discuss. But stop a moment and consider how barren our world would be had there been no authors and, thus, no books. Too sad for me to imagine.

I don't claim to have written anything that will have the longevity of either of the above, but it's one I enjoyed writing. THORNS ON ROSES is a South Florida thriller. Tom Jeffries has good reasons not to trust the justice system. It failed him before, and he believes it will fail again. When the teenage daughter of his best friend is found dead, a victim of gangland rape, Tom vows to avenge her. I hope you'll stop in and take a look. It's available as a paper book and an eBook.

Randy Rawls

THORNS ON ROSES, a South Florida Thriller

SMOKEY AND BANDIT in Cats in a Dreamspell
Ace Edwards, Dallas PI Mysteries

1 comment:

Deborah Sharp said...

I'm with you on To Kill a Mockingbird ... definitely one of the formative books of my childhood. Hemingway, not so much. Great writer, but I could never relate to the stories. And a world without books? Unthinkable!

FEEDJIT Live Traffic Map