I Would Drive 500 Miles

And I would Drive 500 More
then I’d drive another 500 miles
and still wouldn’t be at my door.

Holy MOLEY folks, we drove 1600 miles in 108 hours and that’s just way too much gosh darned driving. In that time we managed to circumnavigate Lake Michigan (swinging rather wide there on the western shore) and hit 5 states. We played a little with Google Earth and discovered that 1600 miles due-ish south not only took us through Florida and the Florida Keys but we’d have over shot Cuba as well. Due West got us almost to the far side of Idaho and we could have visited the Grand Canyon in one straight shot. That’s a little daunting to think about.

I also don’t recommend that much travel in that short a time, even though we had a decent (as decent as one can have at a memorial) time in Minnesota and a nice stop over up north (eh). We did get through two books on tape (CD actually) during the run: Terry Prachett’s Making Money and Dean Koontz’s Velocity. Pratchett was, as usual, awesome. Making Money continues somewhat after where Going Postal left off save instead of dealing with the post office, Moist von Lipwig is charged with straightening out the Ank-Mohrpork banking system. I love me some Prachett. We were glued to the radio the entire time the book was playing.

Incidentally, I highly encourage any of you who may be driving to parts of the country that have no decent radio stations to invest in books on tape (CD). The miles fly. Well they do unless you have a poor book on tape. TheMan and I both really like Terry Prachett books and the fella who tends to read them so it’s usually a good bet that a Prachett books will be amusing the whole way there. We’ve only had one issue with a TP book on tape and that was the fact that it came divided into just two chapters. It was the most aggravating thing to have to fast forward through years of story to get back to the place you had left off, but we couldn’t really blame book for that.

I will totally blame Velocity for giving me hives though. Arrgh! I’ve read a couple Koontz books and really liked them (Watchers and Lightning) but gol-almighty Velocity sucked the big wet suck of sucking. The storyline was decent – small town bartender is singled out by some crazy to be the recipient of said crazy’s craziness – and it would have made a good story if every darned thing in the whole stupid book wasn’t treated as some sort of deep dark secret thing. ‘It was exactly like that day 14 years ago…’ DUN DUN DUN! Meanwhile in another part of the story something completely useless is going on and we’re totally going to cut to it in order to build DRAMATIC TENSION!

‘It looked exactly like that bologna sandwich from 14 years ago…’ DUN DUN DUN! Hey! Let’s totally just not say anything more about 14 years ago for another seven chapters! The tension is palpitating!

Then it turned out that the bologna sandwich from 14 years ago had absolutely nothing to do with the plot at all. It was a stupid red herring bologna sandwich which I had to wait seven hours to find out about and it wasn’t even done well. Sort of a ham (heh) handed red herring that made me want to eat the author’s face off for making me wade through three quarters of the book for a stupid 14 year old irrelevant bologna sandwich.

I think you can get away with a couple of these slow reveals but the whole book ought not to read like a crock pot story, you know? Also, there were a couple really sloppy writing moments which bothered me to no end. There was one point in time where the main character was doing some research into the crazy homicidal maniac dude and just sort of didn’t follow up on some pretty basic stuff. If it were me, I’d be all Law&Order with this guy’s background check and following up on leads. But then if it were me and I went around asking the obvious questions, the book would have been over about two hours earlier than it actually was. If your main character can’t act naturally because it’ll spoil the ending, then maybe you ought to do a little rewriting so it doesn’t. Argh!

I give Velocity two thumbs down. I also want to reread the two Koontz books I liked to see if I was on drugs when I read them or if Velocity is just a sucktastic fluke.

Last year at the booniverse: It’s got about a billion functions and it’ll do just about everything including windows if you give it a bottle of glass cleaner and park it close enough.

Last last year at the booniverse: It was all possessed like and making the “Fffffzbip” start up computer noise, which would have been peachy if it indeed had been started up.

The year before at the booniverse: I didn’t even drive the truck 1600 miles all year!

The year before that at the booniverse: That looks mighty weird to see oodles of birds all hanging out on a 45 degree slant.

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