Friday, September 4, 2009

Preaching by the converted

How come I am so much more insane about preaching the goodness of books/films/TV shows that I originally didn't want to read/watch? You notice this same thing with converted religious people sometimes, that they can be madly zealous in a way that people brought up in the faith are often not.

I bring this up because I am reading The Girl in a Swing, which is a book by the same guy that wrote Watership Down, and it's making me want to tell everyone to read Watership Down. Zealously. Though I believe when my mother first brought up Watership Down to me, the conversation was like this.

Mumsy: Jenny! I got Watership Down! You have to read it while we're here [in Maine]!
Jenny: Okay! You have never steered me wrong! What's it about?
Mumsy: Well, it's about these rabbits.
Jenny: Um, yeah. That sounds sweet, but I'm too busy revisiting the oeuvres of William Steig and Maurice Sendak.
Mumsy: Really?
[Note: William Steig and Maurice Sendak are both brilliant and I love them. I am in no way criticizing William Steig and Maurice Sendak.]
Mumsy: No, no, it's very exciting. It's very exciting. It's about this rabbit that is psychic-
Jenny: Mother. This is embarrassing.

See, but I was so wrong! Watership Down is amazing and thrilling and suspenseful. The rabbits have all kinds of mad adventures, like - oo, it's so creepy - when they find this warren with these fat, well-fed rabbits that just act really weird; and like when the Major Fighter Rabbit, Bigwig, befriends this crow; and when they have to infiltrate a terrifying fascist warren and fight off the terrifying army of fascist rabbits.

When I try to tell people how good Watership Down is, I can always tell from their faces that they are thinking the exact same thing that I myself was thinking when my mother first told me about it. And I don't want them to make the same judgey-face mistake that I made! Which caused me to put off reading it for a really long time! I mean, okay, for like a week, until I ran out of other stuff to read, but dude, if we hadn't been on vacation, if we had been at home surrounded by zillions of books and a public library, I might NEVER EVER HAVE READ IT.

...I am sad for the people that have never read Watership Down.


Nancy said...

Listening To Your Mother is one of the seven cardinal virtues.

Robyn said...

You are awfully zealous about trying to get people to read Watership Down, but I think that's because you have to build it up more because the premise sounds ridiculous.