New Things to Get Excited About
BANG. Jeffrey and Bryan Eisenberg's new book hits the shelves of every bookstore in America today. Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?
Well, are you?
Many of you have heard me speak about society's 40-year pendulum and how we're currently in the middle of a 6-year transition from an Idealistic “Me” society to a more Civic-minded “We” perspective. If you've experienced my 90-minute Time Tunnel presentation, you know how it answers deep, nagging questions while it brings bubbling to the surface a bunch of new ones. This book begins answering the new ones. (Hello to all the new readers who experienced the Time Tunnel in Las Vegas last week. This is the book I told you to pre-order.)
This newest hardback from the Eisenbrothers contains much of the latest thought from Wizard Academy. In it, you'll find me quoted a couple of times, along with board member Dr. Richard (Nick) Grant and our resident screen-and-fiction-writing genius, David Freeman. Mostly though, the book is an explanation of why yesterday's successful marketing techniques aren't working anymore, with expert advice about how to get in step with today's finicky, cat-like public.
SURPRISE! Packaged inside the cover you'll find an 80-minute video CD that was shot a couple of months ago in Wizard Academy's Tuscan Hall. View it and witness a brutal peer review as America's most forward-thinking marketers from several of the most powerful companies in America grill Jeff and Bryan about the strange new ideas in their book. Would you like to see a one minute and twenty second glimpse of this 80-minute video that comes inside every copy of Waiting for Your Cat to Bark?
Buy the book at your local bookstore today. Or order it online.
Is fiction more your taste? Did you ever read The Secret Life of Bees? If you liked that book, you'll like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The characters are well crafted and the unfolding is intriguingly bizarre, almost Tom Robbins-like. (I won't tell you the identity of the omniscient narrator, but trust me you'll be surprised.) Here's one of the little sidebar comments made by the narrator throughout the book:
* * * SOME FACTS ABOUT RUDY STEINER * * *
“He was eight months older than Liesel and had bony legs, sharp teeth, gangly blue eyes, and hair the color of lemon. One of six Steiner children, he was permanently hungry. On Himmel Street, he was considered a little crazy. This was on account of an event that was rarely spoken about but widely regarded as ‘The Jesse Owens Incident,' in which he painted himself charcoal black and ran the 100 meters at the local playing field one night.”
As long as we're on the subject of literature: Jacob, our 22 year-old younger son, expressed his concern to me last week about the name of the new course I'm teaching at Wizard Academy, Da Vinci and The 40 Answers. “Dad,” he asked, “don't you worry that people will think you're jumping on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon?” I explained to Jake that part of my reasoning behind the course's name was to reclaim the misappropriated identity of Leonardo da Vinci.
Yes, I read Dan Brown's book, The Da Vinci Code. Its pace kept me breathless and I was entertained in the same way that Bruce Willis entertained me in Die Hard. But neither of them is great literature.
The Da Vinci Code is all story arc, no character arc.
Me, I'm a sucker for character arc. Remember the evolution of the Jack Nicholson character in the movie, As Good As It Gets? Or the transitional journey of the unlikely trio in The Station Agent? Those, my friends, were vivid examples of character arc.
I realize that I'm a minority voice on this Da Vinci Code issue and about 30 million people disagree with me. But no matter. Novelist Stephen King, at least, is on my side. Speaking to the graduating class of the University of Maine in 2005, he said, “If I show up at your house 10 years from now, and find nothing in your living room but Reader's Digests, nothing in your bedroom but the latest Dan Brown novel… I will chase you down to the end of your driveway and back shouting, 'Where are the damn books? Why are you living the mental equivalent of a Kraft Macaroni & Cheese life?'”
Well said, Stephen. Well said.
Yes, I realize that I'm a literature snob. Though I grew up happily in Oklahoma, I somehow never developed a taste for NASCAR, hunting season or Budweiser, but have always been drawn to fine art, theater on Broadway and a fragrant glass of wine.
Uh-oh. I criticized the Da Vinci Code.
Can we still be friends anyway?
(Big smile. Bright eyes. That's me, grinning for your forgiveness.)
Roy H. Williams