Doc and I were up in Seattle this weekend. He was judging a yo-yo competition, whilst I was wandering around looking at things and exploring. And eating brunch. I ate a lot of brunch.
It was fun exploring the city, but by far the best thing I got out of this trip (aside from seeing friends, of course) was a book. I had forgotten to bring a book to read on the flight, and I had forgotten my headphones so I couldn’t even listen to an audio book. So, literally the first thing I did after arriving in Seattle (after looking at all the flowers and things at Pike Place) was visit a cool little bookshop.
Right away, Omon Ra caught my eye. It depicted what appeared to be the Ancient Egyptian god Ra, wearing a space suit. It is no secret that I have long been obsessed with Ancient Egypt: its culture, its way of life, its religion, its architecture, its writing, etc. And, he was wearing a space suit. Come on. I read the back, and it didn’t mention Egypt or Ra or gods, but it described a dark absurdist comedy about a young boy in Soviet Russia that dreams of being a cosmonaut.
I read the first couple of pages, and I was immediately drawn in by its easy, whimsically poetic style. Not at all in the way that some poetic literature can be dense and difficult to parse, this read incredibly well.
After seeing how quickly I fell into Pelevin’s writing, I bought the book and read it pretty quickly. It was an amazing book, and not what I was expecting (although I wasn’t exactly sure what I was expecting). I’m always on the hunt for more good books, and buying them randomly rarely works out. I end up with lots of duds that way (that I read anyway because I paid for them, damn it!), and usually I can only find good books via recommendation.
So: thanks Seattle, for getting me to get this book!
Also, it turns out that it was not a coincidence that the title of the book has “Ra” in it, and the cover depicts what appears to be Ra wearing a space suit. So that made me happy, too.
But it is a coincidence that a blog post with “Set” in the title ended up talking about Ra (Set’s brother) so much. I set out just to talk about my trip in Seattle, and did not plan on talking about the book at all. I named it “Set in Seattle” as an inside-joke that my friends and I shared about the Ancient Egyptian god Set living in Seattle, and he starred in a sitcom called “Set in Seattle,” which was an intentional pun on the fact that the show was set in Seattle about Set in Seattle. OK, I’m not sure where I’m going with this anymore. You had to have been there.