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Let your conscious be your guide:

“We made a conscience effort in our preparation that we would be fine with it being an extremely low-scoring game, with us taking the air out of the ball a little bit.”

The New York Times Book Review addresses book-reviewese, in an item I found riveting:

“Book-reviewese plagues every literary section to a greater or lesser degree; there are, in the end, only so many words of praise and disdain in the English language. But at The New York Times Book Review, as our regular contributors have learned, a few terms are held in special contempt. The word ‘pen’ deployed as a verb (‘Zane Grey penned his first story in a cave behind his house’), for example. And the word ‘read’ configured as a noun (‘this is a terrific read’), which can make a reviewer sound like a used car salesman. We try mightily to stamp out ‘compelling,’ ‘iconic,’ ‘lyrical’ and ‘poignant,’ though they sneak in like mice.”

Growing up, I read a bunch of Zane Grey books, and rip-roaring yarns they were, with names like “Riders of the Purple Sage” and “Lone Star Ranger.” I didn’t read all of them; that would be a lifetime’s work. ZG was remarkably prolific.

Where this is headed, if anywhere, is the possibility that while reading my first Zane Grey novel, I experienced an epiphany, on the order of “Books about human folly and shooting outlaws are better than books about human folly alone.” People didn’t have many epiphanies back then, but I was always ahead of the curve. Pushing the envelope too.

Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to sit down to a good read without someone is having an epiphany: “Tragedy narrowly averted, he experienced an epiphany: Red means ‘Stop.’ ”

Back to Zane Grey for a minute, it’s not widely known that Zane was actually his middle name. His real first name was Pearl. It’s easy to see why he abandoned it. Would people read “Wild Horse Mesa” if the author was Pearl Grey? I think not. Does that count as an epiphany?

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