Monday, April 19, 2010

50 EXCERPTS: #10

The next morning I took the subway one stop past my usual station and walked a few blocks out of my way to Fifth Avenue.

Hanover's Book Store wouldn't be open for another hour, but the window gates had already been rolled back up. I squinted at the displays in the row of windows lining Fifth Avenue but only saw the same old authors and the same old books set out to entice impulse buyers and window shoppers. Stephen King's latest; Jackie Collins's latest; a new collection of shorts by Garrison Keillor; the new unauthorized joint biography of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver; Doris Kearns Goodwin; Diana Gabaldon; Tom Clancy; Nelson DeMille...

I was about to leave, my anticipation unrewarded, when I thought I saw a familiar sight out of the corner of my eye. I strained against the glare of the sun off the plate-glass window and, sure enough, saw the cover of The Brewster Mall in the hands of a store employee, just as he was about to set the book on a wooden prop in the window.

And then he took away a Tom Clancy book. No, not just one Tom Clancy book... all the Tom Clancy books! One by one, as I stood in slack-jawed witness, he removed copies of the New York Times number-five best-seller from that valuable window space and then, when Clancy was gone, replaced the entire display with copies of The Brewster Mall. By Andrew Westlake. Me.

I decided that it was going to be a wonderful day.

I was wrong once again.

from The Night We Met

Kensington Publishing Corp.
September, 2002

Buy it at Now Voyager Bookstore & Gallery

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