I remember that I read many books throughout my childhood. Some where chosen by me, and many others by my parents or teachers.
I remember that I couldn’t get through “The Treasure Island”. Even Jules Verne’s or Moby Dick didn’t engage me, maybe I hadn’t the right age. Also I was too young when I tried “2001 A Space Odissey” for the first time. I preferred to read short stories by Edgard Allan Poe or easy tales by Isaac Asimov.
Some of the books that I fondly remember where books that I found among the shelves of my father and my grandfather and that they would have never suggested to me. They were books able to spark my imagination and engage me till the end with eager to finish them.
There were also books that finally bored me but that at the begining gave me a rush, one of these books is “The goblin reservation” by Clifford D. Simak (1968). I just needed to read the back cover summary to get excited:
Professor Peter Maxwell is in desperate straits. En route to an interplanetary research mission, he was snatched by a strange, shadowy race to a previously uncharted planet. Ancient beyond comprehension, this planet is a storehouse of information that would be invaluable to the people of Earth- even an Earth so far advanced that perfected time travel allows goblins, dinosaurs, ghosts, even Shakespeare to coexist. His attempts to interest the rulers of Earth are thwarted, however, by a startling discovery- Maxwell was ingeniously duplicated. The “other” him came back before he did, and soon after was “accidentally” killed. Now no one will believe the original Maxwell really exists…
I don’t think I would be able to read it again. That blend of fantasy and science would be too much for me these days, but at twelve or so, the duplicated Maxwell was a mind blowing idea. I don’t remember if I finally liked it, I guess it progressed to dullness but I can’t forget the excitement of the first days.
Another book, this time borrowed from my grandpa was “The Gods Themselves”, a 1972 science fiction novel written by Isaac Asimov. It won the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1972, and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1973. This one was a complete shock. I remember it’s end after all these years. I remember how I was anxious to advance chapter after chapter.
It’s OK to give good books to kids but what if they don’t like them? As children we don’t care about the quality of the prose, we want something to blow our minds away and sometimes this isn’t found on the books praised by the critics or the majority.
We are all different and we are compelled by different things but I’d like to know what book or comic do you remember as one of your first amusing reads. Don’t be shy if it seems silly today, I want to know what inspired you when you had no prejudices.