61 Hours and Mr. Playboy

Ack! So sorry it’s taken me this long! See what a three-day weekend does for me? No, I didn’t mean it, don’t take them away. It was a GREAT three-day weekend. Yesterday was a stellar day on the mountain bike trails up north (didn’t see another soul!) followed by a sushi pig-out with the Husband, ahhhhh, lovely.

So I just had a hard time catching up today, and I’m sorry this post is so late. I do have things to tell you.

I finished Lee Child’s 61 Hours this weekend, and it was everything I want a Lee Child/Jack Reacher book to be. It was fast-paced and exciting and suspenseful, with a good mystery that I solved myself this time (although I doubted in the final moments, I confess). Reacher was a superman and I was impressed and it was great fun. BUT! I was totally dissatisfied with the ending. It was far too up-in-the-air; I need greater satisfaction than that, greater resolution. I don’t think people read page-turner head-bashing mysteries to be left up in the air; I think we like conclusion! Without spoiling, I hope, let’s say it leaves Reacher’s fate decidedly in question. Luckily I know that the next Reacher book is already out, so either he survives or is reincarnated. That saves Child from some of my frustration. But really, if he were reading this: Mr. Child, you do such a good job. Next time do go ahead and tell us what happened! Ah well, this will just get me into the next one all that quicker. Perhaps this was his aim all along.

Next I started reading Mr. Playboy: Hugh Hefner and the American Dream by Steven Watts. This one has a due date at the big library where I don’t work, so I thought I’d go ahead and get started. Also, it’s a bit of a brick – close to 600 pages, only 450ish of which is the book itself (lots of notes, not a bad sign with a biography).

And it was easy to get into! I observed in last Friday’s book beginning that it had a strong start; seemed readable (what a drag to have to force oneself to follow really dry nonfiction, you know what I’m talking about) and also seemed to approach the subject in the way I was hoping. I’m reading a Hefner biography because I find him a fascinating character: complex, and polarizing, and prolific in his influences. I’m pretty clear that I do admire him, but I know he’s complicated and suspect that not everything about him is admirable. So, I’m looking for a biography to help me understand these complexities.

And I think I’ve found it! First of all, it does turn out to be a very readable book. I sat down and got through 125ish pages in one sitting, which means that by the second sitting I’m more than a third of the way through this brick. That’s an endorsement. I also appreciate Watts’ approach; he’s working to place Hefner in the larger forces guiding the US and all the ways in which our culture was changing during Hefner’s youth. I’m still dealing with the early years of Playboy magazine, barely scraping 1960, so there’s plenty to come. We’re getting to know a number of the characters in his life and in the Playboy commercial empire. I find it plenty entertaining. I like learning about Hefner’s intricacies and contradictions. If you’re looking for a Hefner biography I would recommend this one so far.

It’s a beautiful day because I got up and rode my bike before work this morning. Here’s to pleasurable reading and rain-free mornings to ride. :) I’ll be back more reliably to you tomorrow; til then, enjoy!

7 Responses

  1. [...] ahem, I’m one third of the way there, and it’s only February! 61 Hours fulfills #1, and Running Blind will fulfill #4. Great fun! Like the Where Are You Reading? [...]

  2. [...] into an elaborate set-up. It’s good juicy action that engages from the first page. And unlike my last Reacher read, it ends satisfyingly. Reacher finds the holy grail, makes a love connection and disentangles from [...]

  3. [...] A book with a number in the title: 61 Hours by Lee Child [...]

  4. [...] A book with a number in the title: 61 Hours by Lee Child [...]

  5. [...] written about Reacher quite a bit. He continues to be big and burly and frankly, sexy, and tough and uber-capable and clever. [...]

  6. [...] 61 Hours: Winter in South Dakota would be nasty enough without a threatened prison riot and gosh-knows-what headed our way. Keep your eyes peeled for a heroic local librarian. [...]

  7. […] Go Back follows on the action of 61 Hours, in which Reacher talks on the phone with his successor, a Major Susan Turner, now the commanding […]

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