I have noticed as I stumble through life that connections exist between the people that interest me.
Connections that make sense to me and resonate with me.
You may not know this but I worship Hunter S. Thompson. He attracted a circle of friends that fascinate me; some deeply, some tangentially. The common thread was rebellion. Individuality. Uniqueness. Balls.
Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Bill Murray, Benicio del Toro, Sean Penn, Lyle Lovett.
I could expand that list to cover three pages, but my fingers tire as I age. In addition Hunter loved and was friends with many musicians. many of whom maintain a second home in my heart.
What fascinates me about this is that you stumble across somebody that means something to you and then, independent of that discovery, you find a lot of common ground that fires you up and keeps you interested and alive. Connections that lead you down new and interesting roads, or connections that validate your own passions.
I particularly notice this phenomenon in literature.
I am drawn to edgy writers. People who are dark, people who eschew the norm and laugh at us wee folk who live our lives as dictated, meekly, straight on through to the grave.
Every book contains testimonies from famous people who like the author, and the author is often compared to other authors.
The more I read, the more that circle contains the same names. Names of people I dig. The circle continues to expand because I read voluminously, and it expands in the right directions.
Sometimes though, those connections fail you.
I just finished "Narcisa" by Jonathan Shaw. It was highly touted by Iggy Pop, Marilyn Manson, Johnny Depp, Jerry Stahl, Hubert Selby Jr., and R. Crumb, among others.
Doesn't matter if you don't recognize all the names; they are meaningful to me.
In addition, on the back cover, Shaw's writing is compared to that of Charles Bukowski, Henry Miller, William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson.
Those names are deep justification for me to read this book.
I was disappointed.
For one thing, the dialogue didn't ring true. You know you are reading well written dialogue when you don't give it a second thought. The dialogue in this book seemed forced. Unreal. I kept thinking that people don't talk like that.
In addition the story was repetitive. Same scenes over and over.
I guess if you fall in love with a crack whore and decide to commit to her through hell or high water, you are doomed to the same drama over and over again.
I found it boring at times.
I had to finish the book because I figured one of them would kill the other. That would have been satisfying but it didn't happen.
On the other hand..................I am now reading "The Devil And Me" by Nick Tosches.
Again, I don't know how I came across this book, this author.
Another discovery resulting from the magic circle I have created in my lifetime through my passions. The details are unimportant.
This book comes recommended by Keith Richards, Johnny Depp, Peter Wolf, Anthony Bourdain, John Turturro, and Tom Robbins.
On the back cover. Tosches' writing is compared to Dante, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Hubert Selby Jr., and Hunter S. Thompson.
This book is evil. I love it.
It is dark, it is compelling, it makes me uncomfortable.
I am less than a hundred pages in and I am hooked; and deliciously disturbed.
The circle rarely fails me. It did with Jonathan Shaw, but I am dead on back on track with Nick Tosches.
As Hobson said in "Arthur": "It's what I live for."
(Yeah, I know he meant it sarcastically and I mean it for real; the reference just popped into my head and I had to use it.)