Saturday, May 10, 2008

Of illnesses and thunderbolts

I am writing this post while sick with "an upper resperatory infection." I've had a very sore throat, post nasal drip, and fatigue all week, and yesterday, I finally went to the clinic a block from my house to get examined. It was the quickest clinic visit ever--fifteen minutes, and they even gave me a mask in the waiting room while I coughed. Every time I go to this clinic, regardless of whatever illness I have, I get the same prescriptions: azithromycin (aka the antibiotic Zithromax), and cough medicine with codeine. Oh yeah, and I get the same diagnosis.

I mention this because today's entry may not make any sense. The Bookkitten took a four-hour nap today, and is still feeling tired and congested. She took her Zithromax this morning, but has not yet taken the codeine. (OK, it's not making sense already; I've mentioned myself in the first and third person in one paragraph).

Sooo...onto my book review of the day. I promised in my last post that I would review The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, Bill Bryson's memoir of a 1950s wholesome, midwest, Iowa childhood. Bill Bryson is one of my favorite authors; after reading A Walk in the Woods and The Lost Continent last year in my pre-blog days, I was expecting another laugh-out-loud oeuvre full of that trademark acerbic Bryson wit.

This memoir has not even come close to making me laugh. I'm only halfway through the book and am just about ready to give it up.

Maybe it's because I came of age in the 1980s and 1990s in New England. Maybe it's because I can't relate to having only three channels that could only be received by the antenna (in my hometown's pre-cable days, we could get TEN channels that could only be received by the antenna). Maybe it's because my mother never believed in serving us packaged, processed food; I was one of only a handful of kids I knew growing up who had a preservative-free meal at dinner every night (though Mom, to this day, still insists on serving frozen, overboiled mixed vegetables whenever my sister and I come home).

Anyway, I am having trouble relating to a lot of what is going on in this book. I'm especially having trouble relating to how "The Thunderbolt Kid" relates to the story. Bryson mentions his "x-ray vision" here and there, but it doesn't fit well with the rest of the plot.

If you can't tell, I'm really disappointed in this story. I will try to finish this book, I really will, and shall give you readers a full report once I have returned to health.

If anything, this book will help me fall asleep tonight, along with the cough syrup and codeine.

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