One Thing After Another

When you live three hours by road from the nearest city of any size (and by “of any size” I mean “is able to support at least two separate movie theatres and a shopping mall”), you end up listening to a lot of audiobooks.  You also end up realizing that not all books make good road listening.  You don’t want the sort of book you have to devote a lot of mental processing power to decoding in some fashion — at any rate, you don’t if you’re me, and spend a lot of your driving-and-listening time in the sort of environment where it’s necessary to devote at least a portion of your brain to keeping an eye out for moose in the road.

(Important safety tip, here:  Brake for moose.  As far as the moose is concerned, it doesn’t stop for other things, other things stop for it.  Unless you’re an entire pack of wolves, it doesn’t consider you a threat worth bothering with.)

What you want, for driving a long way at night on a moosey road, is a book that isn’t so complex you’ll lose track of everything else you’re doing, but with enough stuff going on that you’ll stay alert and not succumb to highway hypnosis.  Of late, our household has found that the novels of Edgar Rice Burroughs (available for free download from Librivox) are just the ticket.  Granted, Burroughs is not the most elegant of prose stylists, nor the most original of thinkers, and he can be counted on to exhibit just about every -ism to which a white male Anglo-Saxon Protestant writer from the first decades of the twentieth century might be susceptible . . . but when it comes down to sheer one-damned-thing-after-another plot construction, the man is hard to beat.

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