What's All This Then?
What's All This Then?
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Field-Tested by Tom Keiser
in Audubon, New Jersey
If I have to talk about one book that changed me, I need to talk about two. It was the December after 9/11, and I was in my senior year of high school. For our AP English class, we had to choose a novel to recommend to our class, and the one with the most votes would be our next assignment. I had never read ‘for fun,’ and most of my friends thought the Left Behind books were the pinnacle of literature. At a loss for what to read, I saw a documentary on Steve Martin where he said that the main characters search for knowledge in The Razors Edge had fascinated him. Good enough for me.
I actually read most of the book, although to save time I skipped the part the author said outright had nothing to do with the plot. When I told the class The Razors Edge would change their lives, I realized that I should have at least skimmed that chapter.
Luckily, a friend of mine had a better influence in his cousin, one of the coolest Dungeon Masters I would ever know. Up to that point, I thought the term “Science Fiction” was a bit too close to “Scientology,” so I avoided anything vaguely resembling either. However, Breakfast of Champions took place in a fantasy world more fascinating and more similar to my world than anything I read before.
Both books made me realize just how amazing reading could be. I saw some of the most beautiful sunsets Ive ever seen while reading Razors, similar to the mindless beauty of the tragic heroine. Meanwhile, I read the first half of Breakfast while waiting to perform as a mascot during a basketball tournament. I almost threw up in my hideous Gumby-esque costume that day, but discovering a universe of converging dichotomies more than made up for it.
But what really makes me remember these two disparate books is how each book instilled in me a sense of place. There really was a world where people like Larry Darrell could find the truth. And there actually was a Walt Whitman Bridge, which was visible from my towns decrepit shopping center and where Kilgore Trout passed on his way to being set free, if only for a little while.
Tom Keiser an aspiring writer and a soon-to-be graduate from Rutgers University-Camden. He still wonders what contributed more to the Audubon Green Waves 5-5 record in 2001: his mascot work or the rocket arm of future NFL quarterback Joe Flacco. He hasnt written in his blog in months, but plans to in the future.