What happens when two thirtysomething siblings relive the summer reading programs of their youth in an all-out battle of the books? The race is on as they read by the rules and keep tally on their logs to see who will be the ultimate reader by Labor Day 2010.

September 6, 2010

Boomerang's More Than a Forgettable Eddie Murphy Movie

Kerry made fun of me earlier for my childhood love of Agatha Christie, and I am unapologetic about that phase of my life.* Without Christie, how else would I have learned such valuable life lessons like the dangers of kissing a pregnant woman when you have German Measles? Now when I see a pregnant lady, the first thing I think is, "Do I have German Measles?" and if the answer is "no" then I go up to greet her. If the answer is "yes," I run away as fast as possible because I know the alternative is to be killed by a deranged movie star twenty years later.

That being said, I've reread some of the Christie books I remembered loving in my youth over the past few years and I have to say, you can't go home again. Confessions that I remembered as being on par with Greek Tragedy struck me as mundane twenty years later. The nanny's breakdown in "Murder on the Orient Express" crushed me in the fifth grade but I read right past it three years ago. "A Murder is Announced" probably has one of my favorite twists of all time (and the Joan Hickson BBC version ranks up there with "Citizen Kane" in my humble opinion) but it seemed preposterous when I read it as an adult. Plus, after the third time a slim young woman emits a murderous cry and pulls out a pearl-handled pistol in the final chapter, the effect is somewhat lessened.

But I found a used copy of "The Boomerang Clue" (aka "Why Didn't They Ask Evans") at Myopic Books when I was trying to load up on reading material for the plane ride to Scotland. And for old time's sake (and $2.95), I bought it. "The Boomerang Clue" isn't one of the Tommy and Tuppence mysteries, but it might as well be. Goofy guy and clever heiress stumble upon a mystery, they resist their growing attraction, they go undercover, a forged letter puts them in danger, and the mystery's conclusion reveals they've been in love the entire time. It was charming and breezy and I couldn't remember how it ended, which is pretty much what I wanted. And as dismissive of Agatha as I am, I still couldn't pinpoint who the murderer was until it was too late. So I'll continue my abusive relationship with Christie, and even though she pummels me with two-dimensional characters and out-of-left-field revelations, I'll keep coming back, because sometimes I have no reading-self-respect.

*Also, I took the high road, and didn't out her embarrassing reading liaisons, such as how 13 year-old Kerry holed up in a hotel room for three days during our family's trip to Montreal so she could finish "Gone With the Wind."

1 comment:

  1. We drove from Massachusetts to Montreal. I read "Gone with the Wind" in the car during the 8+ hour trip. Upon arriving at the hotel, I had 50 or so pages left. Instead of heading to the hotel pool, I finished the book (under firm orders not to leave the room until they returned). Then I took a nap.

    Isn't this competition embarrasment enough?