Stan: OK – now about Patton's Gap. Why is this book taking so long to read? I have 40 pages left but it might as well be 400. I can't seem to read more than a couple of pages at a time – even if it is enlivened by the occasional Madame that punches him or latrine that goes on fire while he's in it. Is it just me, or is there something about it that causes your mind to wander have a sentence or two?
Chris: It's amazing how hard this book is to pick up. I actively repels reading. Why is his writing so bad? It's so short, and the vocabulary is pretty basic, and the subject is interesting – and goddammit he really was there, at 22, flying a goddamn fighter plane and saving the world. Why is it so impossible to even skim?
Stan: That's my problem exactly – the subject is interesting, timely (I was in the middle of the book on D-Day), his writing is more or less straightforward – but I can't seem to follow it. I mean, I can – it's just that I can't stop thinking of something – anything – else while I'm reading.
And I'm reluctant to criticize it because I don't know how. "Gee - this book is boring!" I'd sound like a kid in high school having to say something about a book he was forced to read in class.
Chris: Richard Rohmer is what reading must feel like if you hate reading.
Specifically if you're a high school-aged boy. You're pretty sure Pride and Prejudice isn't your thing, but maybe something about submarines...
There have been times in the last three weeks when I've been so bored reading Patton's Gap that I've actually put it down to read other books about D-Day. I mean, I've been reading it, and my mind has gone... "Wow, this is tedious and lazy... and what's his beef?... why is he telling me this part... where is this leading... I wonder what's on TV…" and I've actually gone into the next room, looked at the bookshelf, and taken down books about D-Day.