[BOOKS] The Wheel Turns.

In 1990, I was seventeen. I worked part-time at A&P, and, because it was a union-run grocery store, it was ridiculous money for a seventeen-year-old in 1990. $13.85/hour, to stock shelves, and talk to customers. (Top wage, but it didn’t take long to get there). I worked a few night shifts ($2/hr premium) and, basically, I was making full-time money, on part-time hours (my previous job was a cook @ KFC, for $4.25/hr). At seventeen, I could work about twenty hours a week, and put two hundred bucks in my pocket. Given that I didn’t have any expenses beyond beer (not that, at seventeen, I EVER bought beer) at $18 a two-four, and gas ($0.38/L in Canuckbucks). I still lived at home, it was the summer of Grade 11, and well, I had time on my hands.

So, I was down at the mall, bored, because the arcade had closed that year. Now, I’ve always been a reader, so it wasn’t unusual to find me looking over the meager offerings of the Milton Mall’s tiny SmithsBooks. And, while I stuck to what I knew a lot of the time, something caught my eye: a big, tradepaperback.

The Eye of the World

I sat in the pool at my parents place, in a rubber raft, that afteroon, in July. I got sunburnt, I drank a… fizzy beverage… or three, and read it cover-to-cover. I was hooked.

Fast forward ten years, and the series, what was supposed to be six books, is now nine books, and looks like it’s going to end up somewhere between thirteen and fifteen books. They’re being published by the pound, in the great tradition of Stephen King, but unlike King’s books, they’re not fucking going anywhere anymore. That brilliant story was getting lost in the interpersonal details, politics, and basic travel and day-to-day doldrums. I get that it’s an epic story, but do we really need that kind of…? I don’t even know what.

It was at that point that I started buying them as bargain books. I wasn’t really looking forward to the next one, and the one after that anymore. I needed to read ’em, I had to know how it all ended (once a junkie, always a junkie, yeah?) but I wasn’t enthused. I was buying and reading them to get by, I wasn’t enjoying my hit anymore.

And then, in 2005, Jordan died. And there were a lot of rumours that it was done, the story wouldn’t get finished. Which, considering we were at book ten of a supposedly-six-book series, kind of a pisser for the readers. Then it got announced that Brendan Sanderson would be filling in for the last ‘book’ (ended up split into three, due to length) with Jordan’s notes to work from.

Where am I going with this?

oh, yeah.

So, like I said, having been less than enamoured of the kind of “late middle quartet” of books, I’d pretty much planned to wait, and buy the last two in bargain books. I figured, not going to waste my money. And then Knife of Dreams was actually not bad. It seemed that Sanderson had gotten into it in a big way, and, being new to the series in terms of writing, was moving things along.

I still didn’t pick up Towers of Midnight. Again, figured, might as well wait for bargain books.

And two weeks ago, the final book, A Memory of Light was released. And still, I’m all “I’ll wait for the hardcover to hit bargain books”.

Until, this happened on Twitter:

And this happened on facebook:

So, one order to Amazon.ca later, I got those two final books, Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light for about twenty-one bucks each. Sanderson, in the great tradition of Jordan, is finishing the series “by the pound”. They are, respectively, 864 and 912 pages long.

But with endorsements like the above, it’s hard not to be excited about them.

You’ll probably hear what I think of ’em over the next few weeks.

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The Car Guy Returns

It’s the first time here, but anyone who followed my previously knows that I am a car guy.  I love cars.  I test drive cars just for something to do.  And I compare ’em.  

And, I’ll also admit, I’ve become something of a Hyundai Fanboy in the last few years.  I tried very, very hard not to be, but the strides they (and sister company Kia) have made in the last ten years are pretty spectacular.  Their sales numbers are impressive.  More impressive, though, is the quality of the vehicles they’re putting out.

I also own a hyundai.  Specifically, I committed the cardinal sin in the car world.  I bought my <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyundai_Genesis_Coupe”>2.0T Genesis Coupe</a> not only in the first year the new platform (BK) was available, but in the first six weeks it was available in North America.  I ordered my car on April 8th, 2009, and took delivery about eight weeks later, June 11th.  It was an early 2010.

It’s no longer quite stock, but it doesn’t stop me admiring other cars, from vintage to new. 

And I test-drive stuff.  For fun. All kinds of things.  So, you’re going to get seat-of-the-pants reviews here occcasionally. Like tonight, for instance!  stay tuned!