Monday, August 01, 2016

In Which I Am So Glad I Don't Owe the Whole Internet Ten Dollars

July 30. I did it. I finally finished Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. We were together 2 months and 2 weeks. Now there's an Alexander Hamilton-shaped hole in my life.

That last day, I read about 40%. There comes a point when you can't stop reading, you don't want to stop and you can't dissemble. Even my mother was getting the stony eff-off-I-am-reading look. When that didn't work, I used subtler, more effective methods: I started reading aloud from Alexander Hamilton, and she wandered off to play Candy Crush then take a nap.

 I continued to read and read. Tears from eyestrain streamed from my right eye. Tired of wiping it, I covered it instead and continued with my left.

But never mind my eye. Alexander Hamilton! What a story Ron Chernow brings to life! Best of men and best of biographers. By the end, I was shedding more than eyestrain tears. I was a wreck.

After a halfway decent interval, I took a deep breath and took up the next book I'd slated for myself, Fallen Founder, a biography of Aaron Burr. After twenty minutes or so, I was thinking oh hell no. The premise of Fallen Founder is that Aaron Burr, like Dr. Pepper, is terribly misunderstood. Deep down, he was really a swell guy. I didn't stick around to find out. I don't give a damn if he was a Mary Wollestonecraft fan, or if he was president of her fan club. He shot Alexander Hamilton! My wrathful feelings towards Burr may cool off at some point. I don't know.

After a couple of days, I decided to do a reread of Gore Vidal's novel about Burr. After all, Vidal's portrayal is that of a villain (although an entertaining one, I hate to admit) in his hoary old age who is just as much of a scoundrel as ever. Besides, I've been missing Gore Vidal lately. I wish he were alive to make savage and witty remarks about the current political scene. Even better, Ron Chernow likes Burr.

Time to listen to the musical again.

1 comment:

Unruly Reader said...

Well done, Bybee! I love the dramatic final push to the finish... reminds me of that Ironman Triathlon footage they used to show, where the guy's staggering to the finish line And His Spirit Is Triumphing! You're that guy, in reader form!