February 13th, 2010

Dubious but Intrigued (Hugh Laurie)

Most Awesome Books: An Occasional Series

Over on Twitter, cathshaffer asked, "Does anyone have any weird books they go back to occasionally?"

And I thought, "BOY, DO I."

I thought also that I needed to do these books more justice than cramped summations in 140 characters... and yet, not explain them too much so that they lose their mystique.

So, my criteria for Most Awesome Books... 1) you must have read the book more than twice. Willingly. Not for a class, but for its awesomeness. 2) You must have once experienced at least slight shame to have read this book more than twice (willingly and not for a class)--you may've moved past that shame, of course, but you know you had it once. 3) Any truthful plot summary of the book reads like someone involved with this process was a little bit on crack.

The inaugural book in my MAB post is Silver by Penny Jordan. Unfortunately, silver foil covers don't photograph so great, so you can't tell how SHINY that cover is if you click through.

Silver by Penny Jordan. A terrifically ugly heiress decides to avenge herself on her ex-fiance/cousin by faking her death and going to Switzerland and getting amazing plastic surgery, tailoring herself to be everything her ex-fiance/cousin ever wanted, so she can take his heart and crush it. Somehow, this will make up for him cheating on her during their engagement and also (probably) killing her dad. Along the way, she decides she can't be a virgin for when she takes her ex-fiance/cousin to bed, so she chooses a fellow patient of her plastic surgeon to deflower her. Only, he is blind from some sort of bomb that terrible drug lords threw at him or something, which also may have killed his wife, or perhaps that was a second bomb--I usually skip this part anymore. Anyway, he is steeped in manpain so much that he doesn't want free sex with Silver (because of course that's Geraldine the Ugly Heiress's pretty new name) at first, but she says she'll pay him, and since this will allow him to avenge his dead wife and drain his manpain so maybe he can enjoy meaningless sex again, or something, he agrees. Later, there is a ton of dubiously consensual sex which leads to love and redemption. The end.

I don't think I've read this book for a good two years or more (maybe 5?), but when I first picked it up in, oh, the tenth grade or something? I read it just about every year afterward as my post-exams ritual, through high school and college. Strangely, I did not pick it up after finishing my first/only class in grad school, so perhaps I'm over it, but for a long time, it was the crack-candy-gum of choice for my academically frazzled brain.

Sure, I re-read Pride and Prejudice about once a year these days. But I bet I've still not read Pride and Prejudice as often as I've read Silver.