Friday, August 18, 2006

The Truth About Stories

I love Tom King. He now officially tops this year's list as my most-read author. (Granted, that means I've read three books by him this year, but still...)

I picked this book up two summers ago in a used bookstore in Canmore, AB. I'm not sure what took me so long to read it. I think I've been saving it, like a special bottle of wine, or a fancy new shirt, for that perfect occasion. And I guess that occaision was this past week at the cottage.

I started reading this book on the bus, on my way to pick up a rental car at the airport. I was so engrossed that, when the bus hit a bump and I spilled half of my large Tim Horton's coffee all over myself, I didn't actually put the book down, but rather balanced the paper cup between my knees and used one hand to fish a napkin out of my bag and wipe up the mess, all the while continuing to read. I wasn't even really thinking about it until I looked up and saw that half the bus was staring at me.

By the time I got to the cottage, I had read the first lecture and most of the second. I was very excited about the book and attempted to read the first section to my friends at our evening story hour (yes, we had an evening story hour). I don't think anyone was quite as excited about it as I was, but we did manage to start talking about stories, storytelling, and what exactly it is that makes a story so important, so pivotal.

The book, I should note, is a series of lectures delivered by Tom King in 2003 for the Massey Lectures series.

Lecture 1 (Montreal): “You’ll Never Believe What Happened” is Always a Great Way to Start
Lecture 2 (St. John’s): You’re Not the Indian I Had in Mind
Lecture 3 (Victoria): Let Me Entertain You
Lecture 4 (Calgary): A Million Porcupines Crying in the Dark
Lecture 5 (Toronto): What Is It About Us That You Don’t Like

I'll add some summary notes on each lecture when I'm a little bit more awake.

The CBC has an interview with Tom King on its Ideas website.

I think I'm going to add the audio recording of these lectures to my Christmas wishlist.

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