RTW is Road Trip Wednesday, a weekly meme from YA Highway where one of the YA Highway team asks a question, and we all answer on our blogs then post a link to our answer in the YA Highway RTW article comments. It’s cool, it’s fun, and you can learn some interesting–and perhaps surprising–things about people…
This week’s Road Trip Wednesday question is: What book brings back a memory? There are so many books I could choose that evoke memories. I’ve already shared a book cover that evoked great memories, and as I scan the shelves, I see books that remind me of places, events, people, time periods. But to make things a little more interesting, I’ve chosen a book that, if you know me and my blog, you probably wouldn’t expect.
My choice is…THE OMEN by David Seltzer. What the…? I hear you say. But I thought you weren’t into horror, creepy stuff, etc. Okay, let me ‘splain. No, too long. I sum up. No really–let me explain. It all began a long time ago. I was in my first year at secondary school–the old Cathedral school I’ve mentioned a few times here. Our weekly 90 minutes of charging around a field with a rugby ball had been rained off, so the teacher herded us into the TV room–the one with the VCR (ooo! gasp!!)–and offered to put on a movie of our choice. Of the options given, the one chosen by this roomful of 11 and 12 year old boys was The Omen II. Our teacher warned us that it is a horror movie, so if anyone wanted to opt out and go do something else, they were free to leave. The room was filled with sound of scraping chairs and pre-teen boys heading for the door. NOT! Please. We were men, after all; we could handle it. And so we did. We sat through the boy trapped under the ice, the woman getting her eyes pecked out by ravens, and even the guy being sliced in half with an elevator cable. There are two things that captured my mind as a result of watching this movie. The first was a fascination with the Bible quotes used, and a desire to explore the Book of Revelation and become better acquainted with the Bible (yes–The Omen II played a part in my becoming a Christian). The second was the fact that I knew I was jumping into a story: I hadn’t seen The Omen, and I felt I was missing out on an important part of the whole story arc.
One lunch break some time later, possibly months later, I was in a used bookstore in town. I remember it vivdly. The store was an old building, about the size of the bookstore that Hugh Grant runs in the movie Notting Hill, but with a narrow staircase that led to an upstairs with loads of used paperbacks lining the walls. It was among these that I found the novel (or novelization of) THE OMEN. It wasn’t very expensive either–50p or less–so I bought it. What’s more, it fit snuggly into my left-hand outside blazer pocket, so I could carry it around and read it. And I did. At last, I found out about the seven daggers, the babies switched at birth, the evil nanny, the demonic dog, and the eerie photographs. Now I understood the circumstances surrounding Damien’s living arrangements. Why didn’t I rent the movie? We didn’t have a VCR at that time. In fact, it was years later until I saw the movie The Omen for the first time.
So, that’s the memory that simple cover evokes for me. The smell of the bookstore. The pleasure of discovery, filling in that backstory. Being twelve years old and being quite satisfied with a book as a replacement for a movie.
Okay, your turn. Is there a book that evokes a memory for you? You can share here in my comments, or blog about it and share the link in the YA Highway comments.