Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Double Bummers

My opportunities to read during my convalescence have been ramped up quite a bit. Unfortunately, what looked good, in this case wasn't. With no further ado --

"Me Cheetah" (ostensibly) by Cheetah Ecco Publishing 320 pages $24.99

This purports to be the biography of Tarzan's longest-running co-star, Cheetah. We first meet Cheetah in a Palm Springs Animal Sanctuary (this doesn't mean much, but I have never heard a word about such a place in all of our trips there) and he is 72 years old.

His life begins amiably enough in a rain forest. he is trapped with a group of apes and taken to New York to work with an animal trainer for the cinema. He then becomes a co-star with Johnny Weismuller, in 'Tarzan, the Ape Man" series films.

Cheetah gives us his opinions of various Hollywood personalities (all conveniently now dead so no defamation suits) and talks about his undying devotion to Tarzan. Other than dirt ("So and-so had a cocaine habit!" "This one never wore underwear!") this book is totally dull.

"Heroes Among Us" by John Quinones Harper Collins 257 pages $24.95
I thought this book would be interesting as I like human interest stories. Was I wrong.

Quinones is the anchor of ABC's "What Would You Do?" a co-anchor on "Primetime" and a "20/20" correspondent.

He begins the book by describing his childhood in San Antonio, a 6th generation Mexican-American. He shunned gangs, came home promptly from school, etc. due to his mother's strong influence on him. He learned very early that education is the key to success and most recently received his Masters in Journalism.

Interspersed among the chapters are challenges to the reader - "What would you do?" in various scenarios with a multiple choice set of answers.

All was going well for me (even though the author is kind of a gas bag) until I came to page 89 and read the following description of the Strip, Las Vegas: ...and the Bellagio Hotel with its 29 ft. tall fountains flowing with molten white and dark chocolate and past the fake Eiffel Tower at Caesar's Palace...

Perhaps he was describing the fountains creatively (although they just look like water to me) but to put the Eiffel Tower in front of the wrong hotel made me lose all credibility and doubt everything I had read previously. Flip! I closed it and put it in the back-to-the-library stack.

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