Monday, May 19, 2008

Turn the Page

Prepare yourself for what will come across as blasphemy. I have turned over to the dark side!!

At the turn of the century, I was part of a mob, that threw Robert Jordan books at a guy, who dared suggest, that Audio Books would become a feasible alternative to books, once we could fit in MP3s into small sized devices.

“earphones  instead of a book? a narrator’s steady, clear and wonderful voice, instead of the crackling, raspy wheezy voice in my head? 10 grams in my pocket, vs half a kilo in my hand(REF Wheel of Time)!!!! You shame me friend, you really do”

Yup. That was me. Admittedly me.

Circa 2007. Ipods are plenty around. As are audiobooks. And remember how all of us(ok ok, some of us) look back at our past, and in a rare moment of honesty, recognize that perhaps we were overweight, insecure pompous and ignorant know it alls, who in a moment of madness, did things we normally wouldn’t have?

If you said yes, then you were probably an English Football fan (that’s soccer, my yankee friends). Fortunately I grew up in india.

Anyways, I decided to give them a try and got a copy of a famous fantasy series, that currently spans nearly 200 novels.

I started listening to it, and before long, I was running out of memory space. God help me, but I like the idea of audiobooks.

Now I know what the bibliophiles will say, and I agree with most of what you will argue. It’s not the same as holding pages in your hands. It’s not the same as needing to squint in poor lighting conditions, or bend over in impossible yogic positions. It’s not the same as reading worm infested pages, a sure sign of quality. (the more obscure and harder to follow a book is, greater the number of worm  riddled pages).

It’s not the same as leaving a bookmark and getting up next morning to resume where you left off. It’s not the same as flipping a number of pages, that contain mundane descriptions of clothing, meals, or beauty. It’s not the same as reading that book jacket synopsis, often of a higher quality than the book itself. It’s not the same as reading the glowing (no doubt paid for) review by an author.

Probably you are right. Meanwhile, that audiobook friend of mine, whom we ganged up on? He is successful, has listened to enough books to hold attention at parties, and has earned the sobriquet of being “ a well read and learned man!!!”..

Imagine that… 


No prizes for guessing what this post is about. I have just finshed reading Batman 676, which begins the “ Batman R.I.P.”  arc by Grant Morrison.  While I didn’t quite dig into the whole batman and son and the resurrection of Ra’s Al Ghul storylines, the hints thrown about the current arc had me intrigued.

Certainly, the teaser thrown in DC Universe 0, was one of the best batman joker interludes I have read so far, surpassing Alan Moore’s famous “shine the light” in the killing joke.

The mood is appropriately dark and full of foreboding, pointing to the imminent demise of Bruce Wayne as batman. The only thing that doesn’t work for me, is the suddenness with which Bruce Wayne decides to integrate Jezebel Jet into his life.

Given the past history, I am guessing that bruce suspects Jezebel of being “hand in black glove”, and is setting her up. Another minor gripe, is that Alfred seems to have forgotten about Selina Kyle , in Bruce’s list.

Oh well, no one believes that Bruce will be gone from the cape from too long. None of these guys stay dead permanently. That includes Captain America. The dead one was a skrull you know..

Right now, I have to say that secret invasion seems to be the stronger crossover event, compared to final crisis. So far, we only have the return of Barry Allen to look forward to.

Here’s cheers to Grant and Geoff!!!