Last week I was at a local bookstore, looking for books on a sale. The foreign language in my case is English, one of them. The bookkeeper was selling 4 books for 1 leva which in dollars is ~ 0.5 $ or 0.12 cents per book approximatively (with the current exchange rate).
When you are native speaker then it’s more about the content of the book than any other reason. But when you are trying to level up your skills in a foreign language than you can see it like a fun and cheap opportunity to do so.
That’s why this was a real deal from the beginning otherwise in most cases I don’t want some random books to gather dust on my shelves. It could be an interesting treasury hunt and sometimes it is but unfortunately most of these books were so old and scraped that the chance to be very interesting is very very small.
That was not the case with one of the books in that lot – “Simple Simon” by Ryne Douglas Pearson.
Casually I am trying to avoid books on a criminalistics/ thriller based themes. There is that saying that “what you are is what you eat” and I think this is a valid point not only about the food we consume but also about the books we read, the movies we watch, the talks we have with our friends and colleagues, etc.
In the same time it’s good sometimes to be exposed to opposite philosophies so you can train your own perception of the world. It’s kind of a test of your own illusions, thoughts and believes. Especially in contemporary days when we are flooded with fake news and statements with questionable information.
That’s why I always have that thing on my mind about thriller based books. I know that these books have very good pace of action and in the same time not that much complex words to distract you from the story.
Maybe the main reason is that the direct speech prevails over the indirect speech. Descriptions of the environment are good to immerse you better into the atmosphere of the story, better portray the characters and their destiny but it can be very tedious process if this is your second foreign book that you have read in your life.
The plot of Simple Simon is about an autistic savant boy which by chance(or not ; )) solves a really complex puzzle in one of these – quote from the book -“egghead” magazines. It turns out that this puzzle was so hardly encrypted that nobody expected to be solved in the first place.
And there were two possible solutions in front of the government top’s: to admit before their higher ranks that the 10 billion super computer have failed to encrypt their government secrets or to… kill whoever cracked it on the first place.
I guess that you already know which of the ways have been taken into the book…
There is that nasty serial killer character called Keiko Kimura. A headhunter sent after our main protagonist. And fortunately there wasn’t that much of a gore and bloody plot twists. I hoped that the author isn’t that sick and fortunately he wasn’t. So the book’s more about the thriller and action than horror/gore/crazy stuff.
Overall it was an interesting book and the reason I am writing an article about it is because of the personal relationship between Simon and the FBI Special Agent Art Jefferson. I think that people with disabilities are kind of taboo theme in our society and this book gives a way to become more familiar with this topic.
There were very touching moments which is better to feel by yourself instead of me, trying to put them in any written word logic.
I am putting as an excerpt one of the pages which was most touching for myself:
This scenario was adapted by Hollywood and there is a movie called Mercury Rising with Bruce Willis and Alec Baldwin from the 1998. Now I am curious to look forward to it, see the differences between the book and the movie, and eventually reflect a little more onto this whole experience.
Finally I will post a simplified graph table with subjective statistics which may guide you more easily if this book is for you or not.