Write and Squander: A Review of the Literature

Dark Waters: Terror at Sea; begun March 1997; abandoned May 1997. I started starting to write books with this one, and I’ve been starting to write books ever since. Dark Waters got me hooked on it. The book outlines the adventures of a hard-hitting, veteran CIA agent, John Carver. He is suave. He is dangerous. He doesn’t take shit from anybody. What really made this book great was my willingness to invest in Carver fully as a character, and I have absolute faith that my protagonist epitomized one of those “round characters” everyone keeps talking about. He’s one of those creations that not only jumps off the page but also threatens to strangle you when he gets there. I had all the necessary details from the color Porsche he drove to the scar above his clavicle from a Russian Issue Dragunov Sniper Rifle during a mission in Yakutsk. (I knew Yakutsk because I played smart games like Risk back then.)

But the plot was terrific, too. The CIA summons Carver, having announced his retirement, for one last mission: to find and neutralize a group of secular terrorists that allegedly hijacked control of an NSA satellite with the intent ofâÂ?¦blowing up the world! You just don’t read shit like that every day, do you? I’m telling you, if I had spent less time trying different ways of jerking off and more time watching James Bond movies, this thing would have won the Pulitzer.

Better than the collective works of: John LeCarre, Tom Clancy.

The Life of Dylan Cheever; begun September 1999; abandoned February 2000. I was older when I started this one, fifteen, which means I had acquired a knowledge of the world I did not possess two years earlier. Finally, I was ready to tackle the big questions. I had made profound observations and jotted them all down in my red Mead notebook with the intent of collating my notes into the Great American Novel. Having admitted my failure with Dark Waters, I thought it time to veer away from spy literature and write a book chronicling the life of a Kentucky tobacco farmer in the 1850s. Spanning nearly sixty years, the book shows Dylan Cheever live through a confused childhood, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the rise of industrialization across the Ohio River in Cincinnati. I listened closely in U.S. History that year, which is why I filled the book with interesting tidbits about the growing prevalence of steamships and Jim Crow laws.

Dylan Cheever was a scathing social commentary about the powers of division and unbridled competition. It was a manifesto against capitalism, a battle cry against all those who seek to oppress the good, common man, and it was very well-received by my mother. It also had a fish named Merton, who was Dylan’s childhood pet.

Better than the collective works of: Mark Twain.

Bazaar of the Weird; begun September 2004; abandoned December 2004. I became obsessed with Dystopia for a brief period of my life and decided to write a balls-out condemnation of Government Control because I was reading Hunter S. Thompson, and thus, knew everything about Politics. Bazaar started off in a Loony Bin called Calcutta, which was essentially a quarantined city populated by artists, schizophrenics, and the Mostly Insane. The government kept them in a perpetual state of complacency by administering shots of a drug called Paranoia, too much of which could send the recipient to a metaphysical plane where he/she made contact with the Mainframe. The Mainframe represented the major information-processing unit that allowed the world to exist as it did.

The book upheld the theory that the human brain is able to remember every single event in a person’s life and that memories are repressed for a reason. The Mainframe, being the entity responsible for the management of these memories, reiterates to our good protagonist (whose name escapes me) that if the Recall Containment Structure were somehow disrupted, chaos would ensue. That’s about as far as I got.

Better than the collective works of: Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick, George Orwell, Isaac Asimov

They Will Rise Again From the Tundra; begun January 2005; abandoned January 2005; begun March 2005; abandoned March 2005; begun June 2005; abandoned June 2005. I wrote this when I finally got comfortable with the complexities of extended metaphor and after I heard Japanese scientists planned to clone the wooly mammoth. The story is about a great, big, fat man named Claude Grosse who can’t take showers by himself. It was to be my crowning achievement, a heartwarming portrayal of a man who hit rock bottom but swelled with majesty and newfangled optimism to catapult himself toward the heavens.

The book contained the best masturbation scene I’ve ever written.

Better than the collective works of: Saul Bellow, Michael Chabon, John Kennedy O’Toole.

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