Friday, September 01, 2006


“Mind if I join you?”

These are not the words you expect to hear. Not now, on a Friday midafternoon in Manhattan. Not after the two days you’ve had. Not after the cancelled dinner and the cancelled merger. And positively, definitely, not from the beautiful woman in the black skirt and heels standing before you.

For a moment you’re lost for words. You’re never lost for words. But for half a second, you can’t say anything.

Only half an hour ago you watched her settle into her seat and order a glass of wine and cross her legs and gaze out at the sidewalk close to Rockefeller Center. Slipping a red and people-watching, just as you were doing. Your glance shifted, first to the table in front of you, then to the half-glass of Pinot Grigio, then the empty chair facing you, then the glisten of your wedding ring in the sun. But your eyes found their way back to the blonde sitting in front of you, her profile in full view, her eyes glancing over and easily spotting your gaze.

You were the first to look away.

This soft of fun, innocent glancing went on for half an hour as the motion of the city blurred behind. People getting off work, tourists roaming, couples strolling. You are here because you’ve ordered wine from this place before. It’s a hobby you’ve only picked up the last couple of years, harmless, yet you keep it from some of the couples you know. Some of your church friends who still make a big deal out of drinking. But in a city far away from the suburbs of Chicago, no one is going to see you. Nobody’s going to care if you are on your second glass, or if you’re staring at one of the hottest women you’ve never seen.

It doesn’t hurt to look.

But for some reason she’s now standing in front of you, looking down at you, smiling, waiting for an answer.

“Go ahead.”

That’s all you say.

She sits down across from you, a glass in her hand. For a moment she continues watching the sidewalk.

You have no idea how your life is about to change.

So begins Blinded, the latest from Travis Thrasher.

It’s all in second person.

BGs, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to read Blinded and be ready to discuss it in a few weeks. Only someone with Travis’s talent could attempt a POV so unusual. Travis told me he chose this POV in order to fully place the reader in the protagonist’s situation. In other words, to make the reader empathize as much as possible with the character. (Remember the #1 reason for putting a book down in our poll last week?) Question is—did Travis succeed.

You may look at this book and think, “No way, I can’t read in that POV. It’ll drive me crazy.” At least that’s what I thought. I read the first chapter excerpt and asked Travis if he’d gone crazy. But what happened as I read the entire book?

Ain’t gonna tell you yet. I’ll want to get your answers to that question first. So open your minds for a new reading experience and go buy Travis’s book.

From the back cover:

Michael Grey is about to experience his very own dark nightof the soul. How much of his perfect life will he risk for a seductivesmile from a stranger? Alone in New York on a business trip,37 year old Michael finds out…

Members of the BHCC (Big Honkin' Chickens' Club)--you have no excuse not to read this. It isn't scary. Ain't even labeled suspense. It's general contemporary fiction.


Cara Putman said...

I don't think I've ever read a book in second person POV. Me thinks I may have to try. Hmmm.

Cheryl Russell said...

One of several I have to read. I think it just bumped it's way to the top of the pile. :-)

D. Gudger said...

Need to check this one out...

Becky said...

I lasted 3 paragraphs in the sample you posted. Does that answer your question.

I know that's harsh, but I was thinking, Who is this about and why should I care? I scrolled down, found out it was fiction, and thought, Well, see, I don't have to care. Hahah--too busy today, I guess. Maybe on another day, I'd be intrigued. Not today.


Lynetta said...

This looks intriguing, definitely pulls me in. I think I'd enjoy reading it.

Recently I read a story written in 2nd by Ray Bradbury called "A Careful Man Dies." I enjoyed it mostly because it was so effective at drawing me into the character's head.

It takes a lot of skill to pull off, but it can make for a great read if done well.

Ane Mulligan said...

I resemble that remark, Brandilyn! LOL

Okay, you got me - I'll order the book and read it.

I must admit I'm intrigued by the POV. When you read as many books as I do for review, it might be a nice change. We'll see.

Grady Houger said...

Wow, that’s a really snappy opening! I like how it has a lively tension even though it's just two people sitting there.
I would definitely read it, if only I had the time this month. :-(

Ane Mulligan said...

Grady, how can anyone NOT have time for books? Turn the TV off. That'll free up soem time. ;)

Katie Hart said...

Would be really weird, as a female reading 2nd person from a male's POV. I wonder if that will impact reader responses. Perhaps female writers won't notice it as much, since likely they've already done some "living" in a guy's POV.