Well, I'm sitting in debate class, last period of the day, and I've finished my work. I'm reading the last chapters of The Story of B by Daniel Quinn; I read Ishmael (the prequel) the previous summer. While I'm reading my Geometry teacher (who had caught me many a time reading in his class) strolls in, and talks to my debate teacher for a little while, and then walks over to me.
"The guy who wrote the book you're reading is going to be at a book signing at the Tattered Cover tonight." He tells me.
"Daniel Quinn?" I ask, surprised.
Well, to say the least I was interested in meeting Daniel Quinn. Ishmael had blew my mind, and The Story of B gave me some insight into the idea of salvation in addition to expanding upon Ishmael. So, seeing as my mother wasn't working that night and she had also read the book, I asked her if she wanted to go as soon as I got home. She was euthusiastic, and I called up Tattered Cover to see what time the event was to be. They told me it would begin at 7:30, and that Quinn would be speaking; They'd be handing out (free) tickets to reserve a place in the signing line at 6:30.
Well, it was about 3:00. So I killed some time on E2 and Diablo2, and then hopped in the car with my mom at about 5:30. We headed down to the Tattered Cover to grab a copy of Quinn's latest book, the one that he was supposed to be there for signing. I wasn't sure of the title, I didn't even know that he had written a new book until I heard about the signing, so we had the clerk look up his latest published book. Turns out it was in new fiction about five feet from where we were standing. Go figure.
So I'm reading a sheet that shows all of the events that are going to be happening at the store, book clubs and such, and see the post about the signing. It's at the Tattered Cover in lower downtown, and I'm in the wrong place. It's about 6:00 so we grab the book and head towards the other Tattered Cover. We grab a burger along the way to thwart hunger. We get into the store at about 6:31. I ask for two tickets, and I look at the numbers, 53 and 54. In 60 seconds supposedly 52 people had already gotten tickets. I didn't realize they'd go so quickly.
We still have a half hour to kill, so I get a bagle and a coffee in the cafe, my mom orders a mocha. I begin to sip my coffee and read the new book, After Dachau by Daniel Quinn. My first impressions are that it isn't quite as philosophical as his last books, but more of a story, but none the less still deals with an interesting topic, reincarnation. I look at my watch and notice it's about 7:00. I put the book down and chew on my bagle for a bit, before me and my mother head upstairs to where the signing is taking place.
We sit down in our chairs, anxious to hear Daniel Quinn speak, we've heard that he's going to be reading a passage or two from his book, and answering questions. After a few minutes, he enters. The only reason I recognized him, having never seen him before, was that the whole room went silent. He was average size with glasses and a short white beard and slightly balding with a very curved forehead. He was wearing a black suit, and proceeded to the podium after a short introduction by one of the store managers.
He introduced himself and then began to read the first two chapters of his new novel. Despite the fact that I had just read them, it was interesting to hear the author articulate the words in the manner in which they were meant to be read. I won't go into the details of the story here, no need to spoil it for the Everything2 masses.
He then began to answer questions about his latest novel, Ishmael, Story of B, and his other works. Most of them were minor clarities, but there was one question that in particular struck a tone with me.
A young woman in a black coat and thick glasses raised her hand, "Did you know that in The Matrix the movie, the main character has to choose whether or not he wants to be taught, like in your book?"
Quinn raised an eyebrow, "I have to admit, when Morhpeus asked Neo if he wanted to take the red or the blue pill and told him that he would feel detached, estranged, from other people for what he would know." (I'm paraphrasing here, these weren't his exact words, I don't remember them exactly, but they basically said this)
After all questions had been entertained, he sat down at a table near the door to sign books, and everyone got in line by the number on their ticket. When it was finally our turn, I handed him Ishmael, then Story of B. Before I handed him After Dachau, I asked if he would sign it with one of the original titles he had wanted to call it that he had mentioned in one of his answers, but his publisher hadn't let him. He signed it.
Only The Blind See Paradise!