I have to admit, I did not see this coming. Or rather, I did, but only because Karl Rove…that Karl R., the former senior advisor and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush, showed me the notable courtesy of sending me a personal note to tell me how much he liked Newton and the Counterfeiter. (Amazon, Powells, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound and across the pond at Amazon.co.uk, Waterstones, Blackwells, Borders, and John Smith & Son — not to mention electronically at Amazon’s Kindle store, and in audiobook form at Audible.com).
I’m not going to repeat the nice things Mr. Rove said in his brief note — when in this age so profligate of bytes someone takes the trouble to send a physical object, on which a human hand has inscribes some private words, it seems right to keep those sentiments private. But obviously, it’s wonderful to get kind thoughts from readers under any circumstances. Writing is such a solitary act, and the connection between writer and reader so abstract, so distant, most of the time, that when someone does take the trouble to let you know that you’ve connected with another mind, it’s just great. (Keep those cards and letters coming, folks!)
And it’s even better when a reader with unquestioned broader influence chooses to do the unexpected kindness of announcing his or her pleasure in a public way. So of course, my thanks to Mr. Rove for his positive mention of my story of Newton and his pursuit of criminals amidst economic chaos and opportunity on his website.
But we all know that I’m just dodging around the point here.
Karl Rove? Karl Rove!
Readers of this blog know that there is not much, probably not anything of consequence on which the two of us would agree.
You see:, it turns out, we do come together on at least one issue: we share his expressed hope for good book sales. See: bipartisanship is possible!
Image: Edouard Manet, “The Reader” 1861.