I have a series of posts related to writing that I’ve finished, but I’ve decided to wait until the new year to start running them. Get 2009 off to a rousing (writing) start, so to speak. In the meantime, today’s post is going to ramble a bit.
First, I’ll share a few pictures I took of our neighborhood yesterday. To begin with, there are two views of the Fire Ant nest at the end of our driveway. This thing has been growing and growing and is almost a foot high now. It looks like a freaking termite mound. I’m thinking atomic ant movie size here.
Second, this “field” of mushrooms are all “Fly Agarics.” They grow all over the place around us, and are particularly common in pine forests, which is mostly where we live. They are famous for being “magic” mushrooms, with hallucinogenic properties produced by an active ingredient called muscimol. This field is just across the dirt road from us, in our neighbor’s yard. There’s also a close up view of a couple of the fly agaric caps. They’ll kill you pretty quickly if you overdose on them.
Third, is a rose “tree,” not a bush, that grows down the road about ten yards from our mailbox. As you can see, the blooms are gorgeous, but this is not a typical thorn bush. I have no idea what its official name is. Most of the blooms are bloody crimson but one has a lot of white streaks in it for a nice contrast.
After finishing the book No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy, which I thoroughly enjoyed—even the movie is very good—I chose a less challenging work called Bronson, by Philip Rawls, published by Manor Books in 1975. Less challenging is an understatement. It’s horribly written and is, as I suspected, a complete rip off of Death Wish, probably being more influenced by the movie starring Charles Bronson than by the original 1972 novel of that name by Brian Garfield. That novel is much better written by the way.
The main character, Richard Bronson, is an engineer, much like Paul Kersey of “Death Wish,” who is an architect. The Kersey character became a vigilante after his wife and daughter were attacked and killed by muggers. The Bronson character becomes a vigilante after his wife and “two” kids are attacked and killed by muggers. Paul Kersey had been a combat medic in Korea; the Bronson character here is an ex-Green Beret from Vietnam. There are many other similarities., none of them flattering to the actor Charles Bronson and the original “Death Wish” novel or film. Say what you will about Death Wish, the original book, and even the movie, at least tried to be about more than just grisly vigilante murders. This book doesn’t make that effort.
Most amazingly, the Bronson books were actually a “series.” Hard to believe they ever published more than one. The one I have is subtitled “Streets of Blood,” while the first volume in the series is apparently “Blind Rage.” There is also one called “Switchblade.” I’d almost like to see if the other two are as bad as this one, but even spending fifty cents on such literature might be impossible for me. I’ll have to see how I feel after a week or two of recovery.
In the meantime, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Celebrate if you’re a mind to.