Sunday, April 16, 2006

Wolf Boy: Like a Virgin

I just finished reading Wolf Boy by Evan Kuhlman. What a fantastic read. While I was pleasantly surprised with the story, one thing I’m not surprised about is the fact that, even after reading all 311 pages, the book’s spine is still nice and tight. No longer a virgin, exactly, but like a virgin, which is almost as good.

I read my hardcover first editions as if opening the covers too far will release a virus that would wipe out mankind in moments. I don’t hold raw eggs that gently. Unfortunately, this means that I sometimes have to squint or turn the book at funky angles to actually read those words nearest the binding. Hell, sometimes I just guess at what those words might be.

But it’s worth it; I get to have my cake and eat it too. In this instance, I get to look at Wolf Boy on my shelf and say, “What a thoroughly rewarding book that was.” And then when I slide it out and hold it in my hands, I get to say, “Wow, what a nice, tight binding. Feel that resistance.”

It’s the simple things in life…

On another note completely unrelated to collecting, I’d like to mention how therapeutic Wolf Boy was for me. Kuhlman tells the story of Stephen (and his family) after his brother dies in a car accident. The young boy deals with his grief by writing comic book stories, while the others handle their sorrows in less successful ways.

Wolf Boy is honest and true. This is how life truly is. The characters are flawed, but they’re human. I can relate to them all. But the story is filled with humor, too, so it was a joy to read; entertaining and enlightening at the same time.

What surprised me the most about the book is how it made me feel. I’ve really been struggling lately with my constant need to be busy. My job is stressful and not terribly fulfilling, so I spend every possible free moment trying to grasp that feeling of being needed, being fulfilled. More times than not, this time is spent alone instead of with loved ones.

Wolf Boy reminded me that life is too precious to waste. The time I’ve been given with my lovely wife, and the time I get to share with friends and family, shouldn’t be taken for granted. I should welcome every moment with open arms. I should share my time and love with the world around me, because there’s no telling when that time will end.

Kuhlman has written a self-help book in the disguise of a wonderfully entertaining novel. And I thank him for that.


Bazooka Bob said...

This is a general comment from reading most of your blog: Excellent! You've hit the proverbial nail on it's head with your insights on the collector mentality. We always want what we don't have. It's a curse.

I'm struggling with the idea of adding your blog to my favorites list. If I don't, I may never find it again to see if you respond. If I do, I'll probably never read another word you write. Decisions, decisions. Argh!

Great writing.

James W. Powell said...

Thanks, Bazooka. I'm glad to hear there are others out there with the same hangups that I have.