Maybe I lack the legal-eagle mind, but Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent has not gripped me like a good book should, which is to say, like velcro on pantyhose.
I'll probably finish it though. The courtroom jargon that lies ahead should be more tolerable than the grating part that I just waded through.
Which was a character named Carolyn.
Actually, she's not around anymore. Somebody murdered her before the opening scene. But the narrator, a fellow lawyer, had an affair with her a few months before her demise. So we must bear with narrator Rusty while he catches us up on his fascination with Carolyn, not to mention how she, um, disturbed all the other red-blooded lawyers in the office
I've met this Carolyn before. She's beautiful. She's stacked. She's a hardened soul with many notches in her belt who, when she loves her men, runs hotter than a race-car engine and, when she drops them, turns cooler than a frosty light pole. "Carolyn" shows up on at least seven TV shows per season. She gets a part in every movie with where men blow things up, as well as the ones where they steal treasures or hunt treasures or bury treasures. Among my fellow writers, she showed up recently in a spacey time-travel piece as well as in a murder saga where she, a hard-bitten reporter, distracts the lead detective.
She is not like any woman I know. In fact, she sounds more like a man.
Which reminds me of one of the most amusing passages I ever read. In Tom Wolfe's A Man in Full, the alpha-male lead character dumps his wife for a young trophy. The rejected wife, in an effort to build her a new single-woman life, hauls herself to the gym. She huffs through her killer workout, attempting to rein in her very feminine hips. She gasps and wipes away all the sweat, knowing that, if only she had hips like a man, she wouldn't have to torture herself like this. In fact, she realizes, that's what every man wants: a boy with breasts. They want male hips, male conversation, a male taste for crack adventure, a male tendency for no-strings attached lovin' and, of course a male hot-and-ready attitude. All that, but with breasts.
Carolyn is a creature of male-author fantasy.
We could discuss, another time perhaps, the kind of fantasy creature that appears when women do the writing. But that would require me to read one of those books with a shirtless, long-haired male on the cover (they want a girl with pecs, as Tom Wolfe might say), grasping a heroine who is about to burst her bodice.
I'll just stick with Turow's legalese for now, thanks.
And forgive me if I prevail on a theme of things soft and pillowy, and share my recipe for Sweet Potato Crescents: