Veronica Chambers writes about Bruce Craven's "Fast Sofa" that he "is obviously a talented writer with something to say" but that she found "it's hard to stick with."

Since I have a list of known, proven good books that I'm still whittling away at, I'll probably never know how talented Mr. Craven is, nor how sticky. What I did learn (while Veronica Chambers was lecturing Craven for characters who put down women and racial minorities) was that she felt it was OK to put down old folks because of the quaintness of their toys, specifically record players.

I have recently had occasion to become old. Because of my budget and prior investments, I don't yet own CD equipment. One of my record players is at least as old as Veronica Chambers, and many of my better tapes are as old as her not-too-respectfully mocked mother and Aunt Gertrude. Cheeky child! Talk about trashing the pizza because you don't like the delivery truck!

I have heard CD-quality music and admire it, but if I had waited for the arrival of CD players before hearing Mozart or Gershwin or Coltrane--I cry at the thought. Perhaps when Spike Jones is available on CD I'll take the plunge.

If hurting an old man's feelings doesn't shame Veronica Chambers, then how about this: The "Fast Sofa" excerpts she quotes sound as though Craven and his marketing team, at 45 r.p.m., might be pretty fair contemporary satirists, while she, dourly scolding at twenty- something, more resembles a square.

P.S. We all, in our time, have "been there, seen it, done it." It is our writers we depend upon to suggest what it means.



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