03 April 2007

Conspiracy theory, and a new Chunkster.

I just finished Alexandra Robbins' SECRETS OF THE TOMB, a short nonfiction book which purports to tell the real truth behind the Skull and Bones secret society. Skull and Bones is a fraternity at Yale which is famous for potentially having its pledges lie in coffins and recite their sexual history (only part true, says Robbins!) and for being the party house of power, where both John Kerry and George W. Bush were members (true, although neither will talk about it). For those of you who saw "The Good Shepherd," Matt Damon's character was "a Bonesman." Skull and Bones is just one of many secret societies which have existed in the Ivy League through the years, but it's arguably the most famous because of its most powerful members.

I was inclined to take most of what Robbins says here with a grain of salt, when I noticed something... weird. Sure, I love a good mystery story, and Robbins herself was a member of a Yale secret society (she wouldn't say which) and got apparently a lot of Bonesman to talk to her under cover of anonymity. That doesn't explain, though, why my library copy of SECRETS... was missing several pages. It looked like someone very carefully tore out parts of three different chapters, so the page remainders were almost down to the spine. And given the context, I'm pretty sure some of the missing pages contain a description of the Bones building's inner sanctum, the so-called Room 322.

Very mysterious! It would be very easy for the secret network of Bones patriarchs (as the alumni are reportedly called) to order this kind of destructive work to be done. But does anyone want to go to her or his library and find out if the same thing has been done there? After all, I'm pretty close to Yale here...

Have I been caught in a web of International Conspiracy? Nah, I just wish I were.


In other news, I've made a few changes to my Chunkster Challenge line-up. As it is, I haven't started any of the books (bad! bad!), but a new Chunkster just fell into my lap this week. To wit:

Doesn't it look lovely? It's the second novel by Chandra (whose first book RED EARTH AND POURING RAIN I read several years ago) and my mom just finished it while she was on vacation. Yes, she really took it to the pool! Or so I imagine, because it isn't greasy with sunscreen and it doesn't smell like chlorine. But I'm going to go ahead and throw that up there, and do some arm curls in prep for carrying this 900-plus-page monster around on the train.

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