Have you ever read a book that surprised you, more than once? I’m currently reading The Five by Robert McCammon as part of my Stephen King Reading List Summer Self-Challenge. I thought it’d be in the thriller/horror genre or crime genre, I’m only 50 pages in, but it’s leaning more towards thriller/horror… I think. I also assumed it was about zombies or some kind of murderous apocalypse based on the cover.
But it’s about a band. On the road. I have to admit, I was a little put off by that. I don’t know why but the idea of spending time with a band on the road just didn’t appeal to me. I’ve never read a Robert McCammon book so I have no established trust with him.
Despite my initial hesitation, I must say McCammon has won me over with his writing. It’s a long book, 50 pages in is a mere drop in the bucket, but now I’m anxious for the band. First of all they are currently in Texas, they’re debuting a video on tv that can be seen as anti-war and one of the locals has already warned them not to take a political stand, and now there’s a strange girl passing out water and maybe blessings. I have no idea where this is going, but I’m a little in fear for our band of five.
Plus, I read the author’s note in the back where Robert McCammon lists all of the many, many, many bands and artists that helped him write this book, starting with the Verve. He doesn’t just list a handful of bands, he lists over two pages of bands. And it is packed with other groups and singers I like. Now he has all kinds of musicians listed, in no particular order, but the fact that not only does he know who The Call and Toad the Wet Sprocket are but likes them enough to list them has made me want to read everything he’s ever written.
So I went from thinking I’d love the book (which I thought might be about zombies), to thinking I’d hate the book (thinking it was about a band on tour), back to thinking I’m going to love the book (based on McCammon’s writing style and superior taste in music).
It’s often easy, especially when I get stuck in a genre, to stop being surprised by plots or authors. It’s kind of nice when a book comes along and wakes you up. A book that says, don’t go judging so fast, little miss reader, I’ve got more than one trick up my sleeve.
What was the last book that surprised you?