Friday, January 15, 2010

Arthur Lyons?

Everybody should know a Sheridan. I’ve known mine for years. He’s the proprietor of Cross Street Books in Ypsilanti and I have been patronizing his little shop for more than fifteen years. Sheridan doesn’t have time to read all the books he buys and sells, but he absorbs a great deal about them and he has an instinct for them, one that guides him in recommendations he makes for customers he knows. I am grateful that he has turned me on to many books.

Sheridan’s latest hunch is Arthur Lyons. Something about Lyons, especially the compelling layout of some of the hardback covers that have come his way, makes him think Lyons’d be up my alley. I haven’t read All God’s Children (1975) yet but the opener looks promising.

Maybe it was one of those days when you don’t want to get out of bed because something is waiting for you.

Or maybe it was one of those days when you don’t want to get out of bed because nothing is waiting for you, and that’s worse.

Or maybe it’s just knowing that the telephone book beside your bed is full of names that have been dead for half a lifetime and others that shouldn’t be living at all.

Or maybe it’s the sky beyond the windows where it looks like rain, but the rain never falls.

But finally you do manage to get up and shower the ghost and shave the spirit and go out and drive ninety miles an hour to make yourself feel brave – a plastic value, as they say – and then slow it down to forty and wonder if that’s the coward.

All that being true or untrue, I did get up that morning and went out under a sky that refused to rain and drove off at a cowardly forty through gray city streets where other people were just getting out of bed beside similar phone books of the buried or about-to-be-die. I was on my way to see a man about a job.

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