“Let’s talk crazy book titles! Highlight one or two (or as many as you like!) titles in your personal collection that have the most interesting titles! If you can’t find any, feel free to find one on the internet!”
I’m going to give you the story that led up to how I obtained my craziest titled book. I feel the whole experience is tied to the book so completely that it’s impossible for me to separate them. Enjoy my own personal twilight zone experience.
First week of August, 2010 – TBF and I do a quick trip to Powel River and back to pick up some required helicopter parts. To get there we need to take a ferry, not just any ferry either, the world’s oldest and therefore most dangerous ferry. This fact is discovered when much to our dismay the traffic controller person tells us we are in fact not allowed to stay below on the car deck to catch up on some much needed sleep, we must go up to the passenger deck. Why? Because this is a single hulled vessel, and in the event that an iceberg were to pop up outta no where, we would sink.
I slammed my door shut and trudged up the stairwell onto a highly populated late ferry. There were at least four teen sport groups, a bunch of hun-gover adults, no open kitchen, and you had to sit beside a stranger if you wanted to sit at all. I was disgruntled, TBF was awesome. He was more than gracious about my terrible mood, and told me he’d buy me a book from the gift shop. [I love him.] We skirted around smelly tired people and squeezed into the tiny little excuse for a gift shop. There was a poor and predictable selection of the top 100 best sellers, some local authors, and one strange looking book that was shoved upside down and backwards onto a shelf; I grabbed it.
The book had a totally white cover; I turned it over in my hands and discovered its title was on the front and the back but flipped upside down like a choose-your-own-adventure. I leafed through the pages before realizing it wasn’t, and this was some strange perhaps arty statement that was over my head? I told TBF I wanted it, I had to have it, in fact this was already mine. He shouldered his way through the people to the front desk with me hanging onto his jacket so I didn’t get left behind and swallowed by the humanity packed into the shop. The lady rang in his chocolate bar, bottle of water, and motorcycle magazine; she tried to scan my mystery book but couldn’t. She searched her inventory sheet and shrugged her shoulders before passing it to me directly.
“It’s not in my system, someone probably left it; looks like it’s yours kid.”
I judge a book by three important factors before committing to buy:
2) Opening Sentence
In the event that they pass the initial tests I move onto the slightly less important checks; reading the synopsis, reading the first paragraph, checking my bank balance – those kinds of tests. The book I had picked up had completely intrigued me with its strange and un-conventional cover, it’s opening sentence was good, “I’m Jared, a ghost.” and its title? Girlfriend in a Coma, by Douglas Coupland. SOLD.
The series of events that led up to my procurement of Girlfriend in a Coma have caused it to be a very special book in my library. I read the whole thing that night, (it was a long trip), and I enjoyed it; I re-read it slowly over the next week - it was a strange read. The scenery and descriptions of the world post-whatever it was that happened have stuck in my mind, but it wasn’t the best piece of literature I’ve ever read. It’s not even one of my favorite reads from last year. This book has remained special simply because of my three tests: Cover, Line, Title, and the strange and uncomfortable circumstances that led to me owning it.
Girlfriend in a Coma almost scares me. It’s a book that seemed to pick me instead of the other way around. I’m always sort of drawn to apocalypse type stories any way, but this one went out of its way to find me. I can’t shake this book no matter how hard I try; I’ve googled the cover art for the novel many times and haven’t found anything like my copy. Was it an ARC? Was it a mistake? Was it Destiny?
“there are three things we cry for in life: things that are lost, things that are found, and things that are magnificent.”