Monday, June 27, 2011

Blasts from the Past, Day 25

Pace, James Michener.

I did two of his sprawling, noodle-headed behemoths for Books On Tape in the 90's, Caribbean and Mexico. I also recorded The World is My Home, a sort of random memoir about his travels, and The Novel, which was actually an interesting look at the publishing industry from a writer's point of view.

How many of these "blockbusters" did he write, anyway? At least a dozen: Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, Chesapeake, Iberia, Poland (!)...the list goes on and on. My parents loved these things, as well as the prolific Irving Stone. I guess it was "substantive" reading for people who didn't like to read that much. They were almost impossible to manage from a narration standpoint: a unending flash flood of under-developed, two-dimensional characters and sub-plots that raced along without ever developing any teeth or guts. It was like an automated panorama at a hi-tech amusement park that just keeps scrolling past you, devoid of thought or emotion. I ran out of voices about halfway through the first one. A tremendous amount of work with very little payoff.

The first time I ever turned down work was when BOT proposed sending me a third one, and I said I'd had enough, maybe someone else would enjoy it more than I would.

Question: Would anyone want to hear these again? If so, I've just botched my chance at recording them.

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