Started reading a book written by Vince Flynn titled "Kill Shot".
The joint I work for is picky about the stuff they put out to sell, which is a good thing. The store has a reputation for quality stuff at good prices.
The store receives a ton of donated books. If they are a bit raggedy they get dumped into the recycling pile.
First of all I have an intimate relation with the book section - paperbacks are $1, hardcover are $2. Even though I recently made the decision to do the kindle thing on my tablet for "throwaway" books, you know, books I would not be inspired to hold onto, I cannot stop myself from bringing book after book after book home from the store. The walls of the house are bursting with bookage; leaning out at precarious angles.
Only a matter of time before Carol and I are living outdoors.
In addition, I go through the recycled books pile. I get these for free, for Christ sake. I came across "Kill Shot", never read the guy before, so I thumbed through it, liked the feel, and took it home.
Flynn had a series of books he wrote about Mitch Rapp, a rogue CIA agent. Decades ago I read a ton of espionage novels. So much so that I burned out on them. I have stayed away from them ever since. But I liked the style of his writing, the feel of the book; the vibe was right and I am all about the vibe when I pick up a new book or new author.
I love the book. Fucking love it. Have been devouring it this week.
The book was published in 2012. Under acknowledgements in the front of the book, Flynn devoted a few pages to the fact that he had been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. He thanked a lot of people for their help and support along the way. Friends, his wife, people in the literary world, his doctors.
It was a positive thing. He thanked a friend who was told he was going to die from cancer 10 years prior and was, obviously, still alive. Flynn said: "Thank you for showing me what can happen when a stubborn Irishman refuses to quit".
I decided to check in and see how Vince Flynn was doing.
Vince Flynn died on June 19, 2013 from prostate cancer. He was 47 years old.
This really bummed me out. I mean fucking floored me. I had just discovered this guy's writing and decided that I love it; just discovered that he had written a whole series of these books in a genre I had ignored for decades but now had renewed interest in.
It is a weird thing and difficult to explain. I guess going from the excitement of discovering a new author, new to me, going from being allowed intimately into his life through the acknowledgments section, to finding out that he died - recently - from the disease that attacked him - I guess it knocked me off balance.
From one extreme to another, emotionally.
Of course, that nasty fucking cancer word has been introduced into my own life and it hangs over my head like the Sword of Damocles in the Three Stooges episode titled "Half-Wits Holiday".
I don't care what anybody says, I don't care how relatively minor the diagnosis was, I don't care how many people I know who have survived a loooooooong time with cancer - that word is permanently lodged in my mind. I come back to it a lot.
So there is that.
Anyway, I have been reading this book with a touch of somberness in my soul.
Glad I found you, Vince Flynn. You are making and will continue to make my life more endurable, and that is no small feat. Thank You.
I wish for your family's sake and for my own selfish sake that you were still around.