Three months ago I wrote about a trip into Philadelphia that included stopping at a used book store. The reason for visiting the book store was to see if they had some of the first books in Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series.
A couple of friends had mentioned how much they enjoyed the books, and I thought if I was going to read the books, I wanted to start at the beginning. Fortunately the used book store had a few of them, which I purchased, and quickly read. (I also read his first two novels, Play Dead and Miracle Cure, which did not feature Myron Bolitar, prior to starting the series.)
After reading the first couple books in the series, I became hooked/obsessed, and I started looking everywhere to find the next ones in the series (I wanted to read them in proper order). I would visit local libraries, used book stores, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon, and it was a combination of all of those that enabled me to finish the series. I believe the last few were all read on my Kindle, the result of borrowing the books through my local library.
It’s my first experience with binge-reading (if there is such a thing), and it follows pretty closely on my first experience with binge-watching.
There are a total of 11 novels in the series, and it took exactly three months to finish the series. I viewed it as a guilty pleasure, sneaking in a few pages here and there, staying up way too late a few nights to finish a few of the books, or heading out to Barnes & Noble to read a couple of chapters while having a coffee.
There was much about the books that I enjoyed. The main character, Myron Bolitar, is a former star basketball player whose professional career was cut short before it even began. He then started a business representing athletes, which eventually led to representing all forms of talent (actors, writers, etc.). The stories sucked me in almost from page one, and I didn’t want to stop reading until I finished the book.
Bolitar is surrounded by a colorful group of friends/colleagues, and there is some great humor in the books, as well as a good deal of social commentary. There’s a local connection as well – Bolitar’s partner and best friend in the series, Win, is based on Coben’s college roommate, who apparently does not live that far from me.
Over the past couple of months I’ve tried to learn more about Coben, and came across a few insightful articles:
- first is this great article in The Atlantic from 2007.
- here’s an article from the Guardian from 2015.
- and here’s the most recent interview with Coben that appeared in The Huffington Post.
Like Myron Bolitar, Coben seems like the kind of guy I’d like to hang out with, and I’m sure that Coben would be impressed with all of the time and effort and creativity that went into naming my blog – Borden’s Blog, as well as my Twitter handle – @jimborden
One fun fact I learned is that he played Little League baseball with Chris Christie, and they have remained friends to this day (despite differing political views.)
I’ve also learned that Coben is a prolific author, and he has written several other novels besides the Myron Bolitar series. I plan to read his other books as well, but not in such an obsessive way.
As I’ve noted many times, I’m often late to the game when it comes to pop culture, and the same is true here. Coben’s first novel was written in 1990, but I just heard about him this past summer.
I’ve tried to make up for lost time, and I hope to be all caught up within a year. At that point, it will be nice to just look forward to reading the new book Coben publishes each year. That seems like a much more civilized way to enjoy an author.
So thank you Mr. Coben for sharing your writing gift with the world, and I wish you continued success (since I will directly benefit from such success).
Next up: Tell No One.