"Great ideas come into the world as gently as doves." - Albert Camus
Why does anyone care about two guys reading Jane Austen? Why would two guys read Jane Austen?
How did this Two Guys thing get started, anyway?
Well, one day my lifelong friend Terry Hill and I were talking about our junior high school days together. (Terry is a playwright, an award-winning advertising copywriter, a publisher of poems and articles, etc. etc. and he and I knew each other way, no WAY...back when.)
And we agreed that we had never actually read Moby Dick, nor did we know anyone else who had read it. Ever. All the way through, I mean. Not Cliff's Notes or (my old favorite cheat method) Classics Comics. The real book. Who had read it? No one. Oh, many people have been tested on that book. It has been assigned to students forever and ever. But who has read it? We couldn't find one person.
So we decided to be the first to ever do it...we would be like Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon.
And to do a major FIRST like this, we would want to chronicle the event...to even write a book about it. (We knew that others would write about us having read this book, like maybe Tom Wolfe who wrote THE RIGHT STUFF)...but we wanted to be the first to write about our accomplishment. So we did. And much to our surprise, it not only got published, but it won a ton of critical rave notices and created a following for us. We had book clubs assigning our book and college professors writing to us about it.
So we did a second book, TWO GUYS READ THE OBITUARIES. We read the obituaries each morning for a full year and wrote about death and life. To each other. Again, we were surprised at the response. People wanted more. Oh, sure, some of my "personal growth" and self help fans were angry at me. They thought I'd let them down by going all shallow and frivolous on them. So what? Can't we all have a little fun?
Finally our wives said that Jane Austen ought to be our next challenge. I winced. Really? Come on. But a challenge is a challenge. And I resolve not to go gently into that good night, but rather to rage, RAGE against the dying of the light by saying YES to every challenge.
Jane was an amazing surprise to me. I won't spoil what happens in this book. But TWO GUYS READ JANE AUSTEN is ....of all the books I've written....the book I am happiest with......it is the ONE I would want to stay in print after you read my obituary.......it is the first book I've ever been involved with that really looked fearlessly at love and women and men's relationships with women......don't get scared.....there's also some humor....both intentional and unintentional....Terry is brilliant and funny......
and Jane?....well Jane is Jane. There is no one like Jane.
Now when all the clowns that you have commissioned
Have died in battle or in vain
And you're sick of all this repetition
Won't you come see me, Queen Jane ?