Sunday, November 19, 2006

Book Review : The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

I used to devour whole novels in short time and be completely engrossed in them. I used to remember going down to Eloor Lending library and getting three to four novels, a couple of international magazines and a few Archies Double Digests and stuff like that, during the ages of 16 to 19, and finish them in a week or 10 days. Nowadays it takes me a few days to finish one novel, sometimes even a few weeks to finish a big one. I usually create an image of what a character looks like and that image will stick with me long after I am done with the book. I also like to read a good novel several times, enjoying it about as much each time. But cable tv and the internet, not to mention work, have come in between me and the books I love so much. I often play music in the background while reading and accompany the words with several cups of strong, black coffee. I used to smoke a little when I was between the ages of 18 to 22 and I often used to smoke while reading. Not anymore.

The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is a novel by celebrated best selling authour Stephen King, who is my favourite of all time. I have read several of his books (IT is his best) several times and really enjoy this master of the macabre. The book is about a girl, Trisha, of 9 who is lost in the woods in upper Maine and neighbouring New Hamshipre, while out hiking with her recently divorced mother & hostile brother. Trisha seperates from her family as she takes a pee and is lost for over a week. She has some food in her backpack and a walkman, through which she gets her comfort - listening in to baseball games of her idol, Tom Gordon, and his Boston Red Sox. She wears a Red Sox jersey with Tom Gordon & 36 printed in it & also has a Red Sox cap which is autographed by Gordon. She survives by wisely eating as little of her supplies and then on berries & nuts. She has to resort to drinking dirty water which makes her sick and gives her pneumonia, diahorrea and makes her vomit. She gets fever and shaking while in the rain and makes a makeshift shelter. She starts hallucinating; she sees images of people in her life including Tom Gordon, speaking to her. King does not let on if the monster that she feels and has glimpses of is real or hallucinated.

She comes across the carcass of a dear and sees claw marks on a tree. She makes it to an old road and takes shelter in an abandoned truck from which she see a glimpse of her stalking apparition during a rainy night. Meanwhile, her parents are searching for her and have united in their fear for what has happend to their daughter. Trisha keeps listening to bits of commentary of Red Sox games. A symbol of her girlie attempts to keep upbeat despite her situation is demonstrated in her singing along with a jingle whenever it plays on the radio between commentaries. Finally she faces her stalker who looks like a huge bear to her but with black sockets for eyes and maggots, flies and other insects crawling inside it. However, it seems like a normal bear to a passing hunter and he shoots at the bear just as Trisha throws her now battery-dead walkman in a baseball curve at the bear's head. The "bear" is chased away and the hunter carries Trisha to a hospital, where as she recovers, she is reunited with her brother and her reconciled parents. The book is split up in the form of innings (nine) and a 'pregame' (the morning before she got lost and starts her adventure) & a 'postgame' (as she recovers in the hospital).

Song for the day - "Flying In A Blue Dream" - JOE SATRIANI


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