Friday, April 20, 2007

"The chicken thought process, it struck me, was not essentially different from the human one."

"I could imagine a life in which at any moment, I might drop everything and scurry towards some tall fuzzy object that I had reason to believe might toss me a cheese puff. And when the cheese puff did not appear, I could imagine forgetting it almost immediately, distracted by the ground with its tasty red worms and soft leaves of clover. That way of life was not inconceivable to me."

from Frankland by James Whorton Jr.

I just finished this book. I had it on my list to read from 2004 and finally got around to requesting it from the library. They have really improved my local library functionality by allowing you to request an inter-library loan online, and calling you when they get the book in your branch. I don’t remember where I heard about the book, but from now on I will try and note the referral source in my TBR list when I add something.

Anyway. I liked this book. It was light, amusing, absorbing, and a quick read. I liked it because the storyline was not the same old same old. I really liked the characters. The main character is a young man named John Tolley. John doesn’t totally have his act together, like a lot of us. He does know what he wants, unlike a lot of us. What he wants is to become a famous historian, by writing a book on President Andrew Johnson. Nobody is interested in Andrew Johnson. John travels to Tennessee to find some missing papers which will allow him to upset the academic world’s knowledge of Andrew Johnson. The story is about John’s journey and the interesting people he meets along the way. John is a bumbling sort of guy, but had a strong moral compass, and a stubbornness that carries him along. I would recommend reading it when you are in the mood for something amusing, pleasant but not earth shattering or difficult. I am glad I met John Tolley, and you probably will be as well.