In high school, there was a poster near the staff room that featured beloved televisual stereotype Con the Fruiterer appealing to the community, in his inimitable and rather irritating way, to care for their backs. "Bad Backs!" read the text above Con's head. "Watch out for him!"
It seems I haven't been watching out for "him" as well as I should have been, because this week I have been struck down with an achy breaky spine that has pretty much killed my enthusiasm for anything beyond slumping on the couch in front of the cricket. And now that the cricket is over I have nothing to do but fan myself with the tv guide and try not to think about all the work I'll have to do when my summer semester starts next week.
Obviously I need a project. I contemplated beginning my long-awaited novel (the semi-fictionalised story of my time as a transexual cabaret dancer in pre-WW2 Berlin), but that seemed too much like hard work so I turfed the idea. But what to do, what to do...
I know! On my book shelves are a number of big books. Big, motherfucking books that I fully intended to read when I bought them, but that have sat there unmolested for several years, collecting dust as only books large enough to have their own gravity wells can. The solution is clear: read one of these behemoths and blog about it as I go. Or until I get sick of blogging about it, or sick of the book. Given my predilection for books under 300 pages, the latter seems a likely outcome.
The question is, which book to read? Well, who better to decide than you, the loyal Sterne reader? (The answer is: anybody. But you'll do.) It's a toss-up between the following:
1. Underworld by Don DeLillo. Modern classic or turgid housebrick?
2. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. Modern classic or even turgider housebrick?
3. Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter. Turgid? Housebrick? What's a Gödel? (As if I'm ever going to understand this book...)
Cast your votes and seal my fate!
(I just know this will be one of those posts that nobody comments on. So fuck you in advance.)