Rod Walker liked this post by JD Cowan about Appendix N. Central quote:
So why didn’t my love of books endure while my love of stories flourished? Easy. Because every book I picked up was a nihilistic slog filled with sex, drugs, celebrating the pointlessness of life, and how special it was to be an artist and be above the stupid common man. I’m not just talking about modern literature that no one reads either. I’m talking about everything on the bookshelf that was published while I was growing up. Not to mention that the “classic” books foisted on me as a teenager were the most boring and flavorless things you could imagine.
Maybe you had to be there, but can’t you just imagine? Should I read a book about a sainted alien who teaches the world the truth about orgies, or read a manga about a mysterious gunslinger on a distant planet who has to stop his nihilistic brother from purging humanity from their new world? How is that a choice? I still have trouble imagining anyone preferring the first as genre defining art, while telling me that latter is juvenile trash. But that’s how it was.
Then I got to college and read a pile of the most hateful stories you could ever thumb through. Two in particular made me give up entirely. They were called Generals Die in Bed and Catcher in the Rye, and they were considered classics. If you’ve ever read them you have my condolences.
Suffice to say, I was done. This was the best of the best?
RW had a similar experience when he was younger, and for a long time hated reading anything fictional, because any fictional was liable to be dreary and tedious.
Amusingly, it was computer games that got him into fantasy novels. After RW played a few of the old Infocom text-based classics like Arthur: The Quest For Excalibur and The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, he was interested enough in the settings that he actually read some of the related books. Soon he found that he enjoyed the story, and ever since he has sought out books with good stories. (Appendix N was helpful in that regard!)
If you like a book centered around the story, you should read Rod Walker’s book.