a wrinkle in time

I’ve finally read “A Wrinkle In Time” by Madeleine L’Engle. I know, I know, what took me so long? It’s been on my ‘to be read’ list for years because practically everybody says it’s one of the greatest science fiction books ever, but I’m just now getting around to it mostly because the whole ‘wrinkle in time’ series has recently been released as a two-volume set. When My Darling B found out, she bought it because “A Wrinkle In Time” is one of her favorite books. It came last week, and I just finished the first book today.

It was okay. I’m not sure I’d put it up there with the greatest science fiction books ever written, but then I wouldn’t put “I, Robot” up there, either, and WAIT A MINUTE, LET ME FINISH I wouldn’t put “I, Robot” up there, either, even thought I loved that book when I first read it in high school so much that it made me want to be a writer of books exclusively about robots (I have since changed career paths but still think this would be a pretty neat way to spend my time).

An important thing about “I, Robot” and other books of it’s kind: they’re nearly unreadable now. Maybe not to you, but to me. I ran across a copy of “I, Robot” years back while browsing the shelves of a local book store, happily flipped it open to relive the wonder and joy of a favorite passage, and discovered, to my horror, that it was some of the hokiest prose I’d ever read.

I had the same problem when I picked up the “Foundation” series and tried to read it as an adult. Plowed through the first chapter with great effort, set it aside for a while to get used to the idea that it might not be all it was cut out to be, returned to it months or maybe even years later thinking that this time, armed with the knowledge that the prose was going to clunk against my inner reader’s ear, I could get through it, but no. Not an easy read. Still haven’t read more than the first chapter of “Foundation.”

“A Wrinkle In Time” was not at all a chore to read, not the way “Foundation” was, and if I’d read it when I was young I could easily see how I would re-read it with joy now as an adult, the way I wish I could re-read “I, Robot.” Coming to the book for the first time as an adult, especially after hearing everybody rave about it for years, possibly raised my expectations to unrealistically high levels. It was a good story, perfectly enjoyable. I just didn’t engage with it the way I might have if I’d read it for the first time decades ago. My loss.

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