The critic stood with her arms folded, her eyes locked skeptically on the librarian at the checkout desk as she processed what he had just told her. “Somebody called and said he didn’t want the copy of The Lost Symbol that he had reserved? So I moved mysteriously to the top of the waiting list … as if by an unseen power?”
The librarian shrugged weakly as he handed her a copy of the novel that had sold two million copies in a week. The critic realized that others would have to wait a day or two for her review of a 508-page book to have its measurable effect on the physical world.
Still, her eye fell on a few lines that struck her as suspicious. With force that startled even herself, she couldn’t help but play a very dangerous game and formulate her responses:
1. Chapter 16, page 84: “The OS director’s voice was unmistakable – like gravel grating on a chalkboard.”
How did the gravel get on the chalkboard? Did somebody throw the gravel at it? Or pave it?
2. Chapter 16, page 65: “He looked more like someone Anderson would expect to find hearthside in some Ivy League library reading Dostoyevsky.”
Hey, kids! Be sure to ask to see the fireplaces in the Harvard and Yale libraries on those campus tours! Soot is great for all those rare books.
3. Chapter 89, page 332: “It was no coincidence that Christians were taught that Jesus was crucified at age thirty-three …”
Just as it’s no coincidence that people were taught that Baskin-Robbins has 31 flavors.
4. Chapter 96, page 357: “The only wrinkle was the bloody black-clad heap in the foyer with a screwdriver protruding from his neck.”
Yes, a screwdriver sticking out of your neck is always something of a wrinkle.
5. Chapter 28, page 119: “Thankfully, this particular crypt contained no bodies. …The entourage hurried through, without even a glance at the four-pointed marble compass in the center of the floor where the Eternal Flame had once burned.”
As opposed to one of those three-pointed compass you see in some crypts.
(c) 2009 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.