Reading 100 All TIME Novels
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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Books of a Feather, Flock Together
For those of you unfamiliar with the Canadian Football League, there were, for quite some time, two teams with the same name. Although there were only eight teams in the league, both the Ottawa and the Saskatchewan franchises were named the Roughriders, and shared the name for 85 years until Ottawa folded in 1996. Of course some will defend the name sharing, noting the Ottawa team used the two-word 'Rough Riders,' while Saskatchewan the one-word, 'Roughriders.' But really, that was just an excuse to help explain why a quarter of the league had the same name.
I was at the bookstore toady, wandering up and down the aisles, when I cam across a couple of western novels by William W. Johnstone that caught my attention. First, there was the story of Falcon MacCallister dealing with anti-union types in Oklahoma, entitled
Blood of Eagles
. Sounds like a thrilling enough premise, with a grab-your attention title; but what about the book only a couple of spots farther down the shelf? It was another of Mr. Johnstone's over 100 exciting titles:
Bloodshed of Eagles
, the story of Falcon MacCallister fight anti-union forces in Colorado!
Suddenly I was back in the CFL of the 1980's staring at two books with seemingly identical titles and plots, battling it out to be amongst the worst books in the store. I suppose I shouldn't rush to judgement, but I doubt these rate up there with Tom Clancy, never mind
. Of course there is an entire section of 'Romance' titles, which these wouldn't even approach for 'unreadability,' and I really shouldn't comment on these, until I've read them; which will be never.
Now both of these books are part of the aptly named, 'Eagle Series' so I suppose a little understanding is in order. They're also by the same author, feature the same character and have roughly the same plot. But I keep picturing how Johnstone's meeting with his editor must have gone as he prepared to release
"You've got to come up with a title for you next book Bill," said the editor, trying to hide the situation's desperation.
"Well, how about...
Blood of Eagles!!?"
replied Johnstone, excited and determined.
"No can do Bill, you've already used that title," he responded,with a hint of frustration.
"What about...," pondered the author, glancing out his editor's window, at the grounds keeper's shed that sat across the street, "...
"Sounds like another bestseller to me Bill!" he exclaimed, stamping miscellaneous forms with approval.
Surely they could have come up with something a little more original than a mere extended version of the previous title, couldn't they? I'm guessing the use of blood is meant to signify the violence that no doubt appears in the book, but there are dozens of words that could be used with 'of Eagles' to signify violence, death, or old west problems in general. How about carnage, massacre or slaughter?
Oh, wait, he's already used those as well:
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gone with the wind
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