Thursday, June 30, 2016

The hazard of the spoken word

My son lives in Houston. (I'm near LA.) He is an avid reader and often recommends books to me. When he said the book he had just read was unusual and captivating, upon hanging up my landline, I connected to Amazon. What's quicker, easier and more addictive than one-click? Anyway, I ordered the book--Bell Weather.

It arrived in a couple of days. The endpapers show a map with islands and oceans as a fictional region of the earth. The story had that touch of magical realism I'd found in Xavier Garcia Márquez. It surely was odd and entertaining, but I had to admit to my son, "I've never figured out what the title means."
     He was visiting California at the time. His brows furrowed as he responded, "But it explains the meaning when the sheep arrive."
     My wide-eyed reaction: "The sheep?"
     He asked to see the book, leafed through a few pages, then whipped out his smartphone to order a "replacement" for me. The mysterious confusion I felt was relieved as soon as the book arrived.

Moral: Don't have complete faith when you hear the title; get the author's name as well.

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