I have a confession to make – I gave up on Hyperion, not because it was lame, but because the road was long. I have a 45 minute commute and frequently listen to audio books. Hyperion was on a must-read sci-fi list so I snatched it up from my local library. The case containing the CDs was about the size of a cinder block, housing 18 discs. I slid in the first CD and was instantly seduced. Dan Simmons slides up and down the English language like a concert pianist. There was a scene when the main players assembled and he described their garb so elegantly I wanted to cry. The man is a maestro! Who knew cuff links and poofy sleeves could be so beautiful?
Why Did I Give Up?
I didn’t even finish the first disc. I panicked. Dan Simmons is in good company: This happened to me during Moby Dick too. The beautiful high seas were described at length. Page after page. Like a sea-sick voyager, I couldn’t stomach it. I have to get on with my life! Maybe I’m a victim of society? Is instant gratification to blame for my inability to sit still and read something beautiful? I don’t know. Inspired by a WellsBaum post about Book Guilt, I tossed the Hyperion CD back into its cinder block.
Wrong or right, my life moves at light speed and I don’t want to spend 18 CDs in the depths of outer space or bobbing up and down in the waves chasing a whale simply because it’s beautiful.
As an aspiring writer, I wonder, “What can I possibly produce that will capture a reader’s attention?” This is the million dollar question. Heck, if you’re new, earning milk money would be euphoric! What can I say that’s worth listening to? If Melville and Simmons get ejected out of my car, what can I do to avoid that fate?
Do You Have Time for Beautiful Writing?
I’m eager to hear your thoughts in the comments below!