Monday, October 4, 2010
What I'm Reading
I’m reading “Me, Cheeta” as told to James Lever. This is the “autobiography” of Cheeta, the chimpanzee from the Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan movies. What a brilliant idea to tell a campy story of Hollywood’s early days through the eyes of a famous chimp. The book even includes Cheeta’s filmography.
Though I’m always impressed when a writer comes up with a clever idea to hang his narrative on, I’m also wary that the narrative won’t be strong enough and that you end up with a great premise but a mediocre book. I haven’t found that to be true with this book. It’s well-written and engaging. Cheeta’s voice is perfect. No wonder it was nominated for the Man Booker Prize.
I bought the book on a whim when I was visiting my favorite independent bookstore, Bound to Be Read Books. One of the magical things about the store is that the owners Jef Blocker and Jeff McCord always have fun books like “Me Cheeta” on their main display table that you’d probably miss in a chain bookstore.