Friday, February 20, 2009

Spider Season

Spider Season is the first book I read by author, John Morgan Wilson. It is the eighth in a Benjamin Justice mystery series. When Benjamin visits a restaurant in Los Angeles, Wilson talks about the "gentrification" of the area. Do I say "the character's thinking" or "the author describes"?

"...and civic leaders had decided it was finally time to sweep away the hundreds of homeless people who slept on skid-row sidewalks every night." I remember following that action on the Internet as it was happening in real life.

Sitting at the outdoor patio, Benjamin notices the affluent people and "Along the gutter, a dissolved-looking woman whose age was masked by grime pushed a shopping cart in our direction, the wheels clattering along the asphalt. The cart was piled high and teetering with all kinds of trashy castoffs. She stared straight ahead as she passed, mumbling to herself, not ten feet from where we sat."

That is a long quote, but quite descriptive of many homeless people wandering the streets of Long Beach.

Benjamin just had a memoir of his life published. At a book reading he reads some of the book. When asked where he has been and what he has been doing he says, "Living in the backseat of the Mustang." He says "...had rescued me from the backseat of my old Mustang convertible, just as they'd once rescued Jacques as a troubled teenager from the streets."

At another book reading there are "exactly three people", the manager, his book manager "and a homeless man who'd parked his shopping cart and belongings outside." When the reading began: "...the manager stepped to the podium and introduced me to the homeless man." When the reading was over: "The homeless man snored audibly."

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