Monday, August 6, 2012

the last book I ever read (Dave Eggers' A Hologram for the King, excerpt one)

from A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers:

They said it was a tragedy what had happened to Charlie Fallon. Charlie Fallon froze to death in the lake near Alan’s house. The lake next to Alan’s house.

Alan was thinking of Charlie Fallon while not sleeping in the room at the Jeddah Hilton. Alan had seen Charlie step into the lake that day. Alan was driving away, on his way to the quarry. It had not seemed normal that a man like Charlie Fallon would be stepping into the shimmering black lake in September, but neither was it extraordinary.

Charlie Fallon had been sending Alan pages from books. He had been doing this for two years. Charlie had discovered the Transcendentalists late in life and felt a kinship with them. He had seen that Brook Farm was not far from where he and Alan lived, and he thought it meant something. He traced his Boston ancestry, hoping to find a connection, but found none. Still, he sent Alan pages, with passages highlighted.

The workings of a privileged mind, Alan thought. Don’t send me more of that shit, he told Charlie. But Charlie grinned and sent more.

So when Alan saw Charlie stepping into the lake at noon on a Saturday he saw it as a logical extension of the man’s new passion for the land. He was only ankle-deep when Alan passed him that day.

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