The Movie: Hearts in Atlantis, 2001 (William Goldman, screenwriter, from the novella Low Men in Yellow Coats, by Stephen King; Scott Hicks, dir.)
Who says it: David Morse as the adult Bobby Garfield
The context: Bobby is remembering the events of one pivotal summer during his childhood.
How to use it: At high school reunions, whenever you meet old friends, or right around New Year's Eve.
Dizzy and I head back to Washington today, stopping in Richmond along the way. Maybe I'll be back for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary, in February, but Dizzy probably won't come along on that trip.
Salon magazine's lead article today is a brilliant debunking of The Da Vinci Code, my second most-hated book of all time. (#1 remains Bridges of Madison County, which I ripped in two and stomped on when I finished -- weeping, of course, but still enraged beyond vision or reason. I borrowed Da Vinci Code from a friend, so felt obligated to return it in decent condition.)
I read a lot of books -- between 250 and 300 a year, probably -- and can find something kind to say about almost all of them. I read Dan Brown's earlier book, Angels & Demons, on a plane, and thought it was pretty entertaining, though overwritten, clunky, and ultimately ridiculous. The Da Vinci Code is a lazy, sloppy rehash of Angels & Demons with an extra helping of anti-Catholic paranoia, and I have no idea what to say to all the people who've told me, in the past 18 months, that it's the greatest book ever.
This was a particular challenge during my long Sunday shifts alone at The Mystery Bookstore. All I could do was propel them, sometimes physically, to the "P" section of the bookshelf, and thrust any Douglas Preston-Lincoln Child thriller upon these people. (My own favorite is Thunderhead, but they're all good.) Preston & Child understand that it's okay to make the big stuff up if you get the small details right. It's just a matter of respect for your readers.