Been rereading The Hunger Games trilogy, and I’m now midway through Mockingjay — which took me all of a day and a half to read the first time around and about a week and a half to sort through the myriad of competing emotions that held me in their grip.
This to me is the number one mark of phenomenal storytelling: when a tale continues to haunt you well beyond its finishing, and persists as a object of periodic reflection as if held in actual memory. What George R. R. Martin wrote about stories being old friends that need to be revisited from time to time is so true.
If I could impress but a single moral axiom upon my child, it would be this: stories are to be cherished — worshipped, even — as abstract idols encompassing the very best the human mind has to offer.
From the Tragedies of Sophocles, down through the comedies of Monty Python; where would be be without stories to inspire us, enlighten us, caution us, frighten us, anger us, or make us laugh? Still cowering in caves, no doubt — shackled to the darkness
Move this to the top of your reading list: A socially-awkward man of integrity and ingenuity travels throughout the galaxy in an immense “Ark” of long-forgotten genetic data/technology, dabbling in “ecological engineering” while resolving global catastrophes. If that’s not enough to capture your interest, he’s also a vegetarian who prefers the company of cats to people. Oh, and it’s written by GRRM. 😉