Friday, June 4, 2010
Dave Boling's Book Tour Review
4-29-10 Seattle Library SW Branch
There are three kinds of historical event writing. Those who were there, those who were personally affected by the event, and those unaffected and able to take an objective look at the situation.
Dave Boling was not not in Guernica in April of 1937 nor does he claim Basque heritage. In fact the only connection he had to the slaughter of the Basque village by the German Nazi's was hearing the story from his in-laws who were Basque immigrants.
The idea of a Chicago born sports columnist in the Seattle area having the gall to write the historical novel on the history of Basque suppression was not well received in the Basque regions, of Spain. Once the books success took over and the people and critics embraced the novel as a respectful actuate work, Boling became an international sensation. That would be enough for most author's but the historical events had a profound impact on Boling personally. Still for a man who grew up knowing nothing about the Basque people the novel connected him them in a way that changed his life.
Much of that comes from Boling's engaging warm personality as he reads this night to a small audience, from a book written in 2007.
He tells the audience that he is willing to speak to anyone from small book clubs or large venues; willing to share with anyone the story that has come to mean so much to him.
An hour with Boling talking about his novel and experiences make you realize that this was a man who took an objective look at a tragedy and became personally affected by the experience of his world wide acclaim. Once Boling begins reading from the novel, the audience becomes immersed into the characters and the plights they faced after the Nazi war machine practiced their Blitzkrieg before invading Poland.
Rare have I seen an author moved by his own words as he read from his own book. It was even more rare considering the time since the book has been published for three yeasr. It wasn't the words that bring Boling to a near misty eyed state but I got the feeling that Boling still feels the responsibility he took on to bring this tragic tale.
It is a powerful thing to witness.
James Patterson never accomplished that.