szzzt: Naruto crouches, kunai in his mouth, forming a ninja hand sign. (bamf)
2011-06-05 11:49 pm

Passioncraft books: Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite

So I have been reading some books!

Also I have not been turning the computer on very much. Not sure why. Possibly I developed an allergy to it. I am still away, but possibly I will come back soon--partly because I have read a lot of books and I am now somewhat out of books to read and eyeing GWAddiction hungrily.

But, let's talk about the paper books I've been reading. Liquor and Prime by Poppy Z. Brite: not books about vampires, but books about cooking! (Sadly, unlike Sunshine by Robin McKinley, not about both at once.) In fact these are excellent books about cooking, with a truly sweet relationship between two chefs at the center of the story. Unlike all fic ever, Being Gay causes them no angst. They are too busy running the (*#$&(ing restaurant. (Being filled with chefs, these books have lots of swearing. I was impressed.) Liquor is better than Prime because it has the origin-story advantages, but I will happily read the third book and misc short stories in this series if I ever find them.

And you know--

There are lots of manga that are about finding something you love and learning how to do it really, really well; most sports manga qualify, as do 'career/calling' manga like Hikaru no Go (playing Go), Gaku (mountain climbing), Kami no Shizuku (wine tasting), etc. I hear there was one some years ago that was about a vet practice and caused a huge bump in the number of vet school applicants. I find these stories fascinating. Passion for craft is passion for craft, and this story could be retold a million times and be new every time, because the details of every craft are different, and this story revels in the details. The funny thing, though, is that this story doesn't seem to be told very often in English-language fiction; not in fantasy or scifi anyway. Why? It's so awesome! Am I missing a genre somewhere?

(A quick mental search for passioncraft books just turned up China Mountain Zhang and some Heinlein juveniles. Surely that can't be all!) Maybe a single novel is just too short to tell a passioncraft story properly, compared to manga with thousands of pages to lavish on it. Liquor doesn't attempt to tell the entire story, for sure; it elides a lot and picks up right mid-career for the two protagonists, tossing the reader in with fine disregard. A manga would have started at age 12 to wring every bit out of coming of age and finding the love of the cooking, but Liquor realizes quite well that it has to pick its timespan, and uses good old third-person omni recollection to sneak in the most important early scenes.

Someday I want to write a story about a tower crane operator, set on a tower crane. Man, I really do. There is like nothing on the Internet about tower crane operation. I'm so curious. Immigrant tension on a construction site...mafia graft...amnesia... Okay, so that story was gonna be a Koori no Mamono AU fic and might still be, but it's firmly in "ofic with fandom stamped on" territory, which is fine with me. Gots to write the ofics someday.