Blogging A – Z Challenge
J is for Just zis guy
When I listed some literary heroes in the last post I left off a couple. It’s hard to list them all because I love to read and I like to read a lot of different authors. In my list I missed Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Michael Crichton, Eoin Colfer and Douglas Adams. There are more yet, that I can’t think of off the top of my head and of course the 66 book library called The Bible, but since that was written by God I think it belongs in a class all by itself.
Books, books, books and more books. Some books it is the setting, others the characters, others the premise, but they all engage my interest. I like to read. For some reason, when I was thinking about what to do for the letter “J”, Gag Halfrunt came to mind. He is the personal brain care specialist of President of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy so many times (possibly 42) or what, but the character’s line just cracks me up. Zaphod has just made intergalactic news by stealing a top-secret, experimental spacecraft called “The Heart of Gold” which runs on Improbability factors. It is a huge deal and the news asks (in the radio version), “…Has the big Z finally flipped?” A voice with a German accent comes on and says, “Vell, Zaphod is just zis guy, you know?”
I went to the shelf and picked up the book to thumb through and look up the exact quote and found myself wanting to read the whole series all over again. So, why are some books like that? I can do that with a lot Louis L’Amour’s books, too. Go look for a quote and re-read the whole book. I don’t understand people who only read any book once and get rid of it, never to look at it again. I enjoy them too much.
So what makes a book not only memorable, but re-readable and quotable as well? I’m not sure of all the reasons, but at least one is the character and I guess dialogue goes hand-in-hand with that for me. On my Louis L’Amour quote page most of the quotes are memorable scraps of dialogue from memorable characters. Even minor characters, like Gag Halfrunt, reveal a lot about themselves in just a few words. I searched for another quote with Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, that I know is in there, I thought it was the fifth book of the trilogy but maybe not (I didn’t search too diligently because I want to get this done), but the conversation goes(not guaranteeing word-for-word quote here but close;
Jeltz(About to destroy the earth again): You are not concerned about the creature Beeblebrox?
Gag Halfrunt: Vell, Zaphod is just zis guy, you know.