Thursday, November 20, 2008

Book Review: When the Kissing Had to Stop

Photo of Pacific Coast Highway taken by Spoon Monkey (Flickr)

I am reading a book by John Leonard called When the Kissing Had to Stop. Leonard wrote for the New York Times Book Review and other literary publications. My hero Kurt Vonnegut said Leonard was the smartest and most well read person he had ever met.

Any friend of Kurt Vonnegut's is a friend of mine. Sadly, Leonard died recently. I am reading him for the first time and so glad to have discovered him. He writes at rapid fire speed. While reading him, I feel like I have had 20 espressos. He is brilliant. And funny as hell. I highly recommend this book of essays.

Leonard keeps referring to the Joan Didion book, Play It As It Lays. I don't know about any of you, but I have had plenty of Joan Didion "Play It As It Lays" moments.

In case you haven't read the book, in short, Joan is driving the freeways of the L.A area aimlessly to escape her mundane reality. I usually drive Pacific Coast highway down to Laguna Beach or up PCH through Malibu. A much nicer drive than the freeways. Cool ocean breeze and spectacular views. I roll down all the windows, listen to music real loud and dream.

Here is a link to an article in The Nation where Toni Morrison, et al, share their thoughts and feelings about John Leonard.

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