Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Peyton Place(The Book), Fear Strikes Out(The Book) And The Decameron(The Book)

The three books listed in the title were ones I read my senior year in high school in 1958. I dont know why I chose to read the book Peyton Place but I am glad I did. I think it was the first adult book of modern 20th century fiction that really got my attention.

   From the first paragraph it was so well written I could not put it down. I remember sitting on the back row in 12th grade English class reading Peyton Place. I had the paperback. Mr Wilkie was my 12th grade English teacher. He did not say anything to me but he must have seen me reading a book.

Here is a link to more on Peyton Place and what other thought of it. See below.
   Maybe Mr. Wilkie asked what I was reading. I told him. Some kid in class said "You will never pass this class from Mr. Wilkie reading that book". And Mr. Wilkie replied, "Oh I dont know about that. Joe when you finish the book let me read it and I will loan you and even more notorious book called The DeCameron by Boccaccio."

  And so I did and so he did. I liked The Decameron. It was surely the first serious piece of literature I ever read. I had been reading Mickey Spillane and Richard Prather up until that time.

   I also liked The Revolt Of Mamie Stover very much. I think I have written about reading that book already on this blog.

   Peyton Place(the book) was so good I read Return To Peyton Place and The Tight White Collar by the same author.   I never cared for the movie or tv version of Peyton Place. They are so watered down as to be unrecognizable. It is the language of the book that makes it special. Grace Metalious was a good writer. And she is much under appreciated.

The opening paragraphs of Peyton Place(the book)are beautifully descriptive.
First edition hardcover shown above.

Paperback of Fear Strikes Out.  I did a oral book report of this book in 12th grade English class. The book really got to me concerning Jim Piersall's mental illness.

And above is a copy of The DeCameron.