The online world is a whole different place. There is no sense of distance. Friends in New England, Florida or California might as well be as close as my neighbors. We get to talk, laugh and learn from each other in places that didn’t even exist a few years ago.
We’re creating whole new worlds and I for one am enjoying the heck out of it.
And still, there are new surprises all the time.
I joined MySpace a few months back. Took me forever to do it because I just didn’t see the point. Now that I’m back in touch with a whole group of lost high school friends, I totally understand. What took me so long?
I’ve also made some new friends there. When people I don’t know ask to be friends, I check out their profiles to see if I can get a clue about what made them choose me. Maybe we’re from the same town or have friends in common. Sometimes it’s people I already know online, just with a picture or name I wasn’t used to seeing.
But one guy wrote me with a friend request. He said he saw that I liked reading Ken Follett (my favorite author) and thought we’d like to share talk about books. I scanned his profile quickly, saw we also shared an interest in Japan and wrote him back, babbling about books.
Later I went back and read his profile more in depth. The man himself was a published author, and I felt kind of silly about going on about who I liked and what books I’d recommend. I know that shouldn’t have bothered me at all, but it kind of did. I wished I’d already known his work or recognized his name.
He wrote back laughing, said it was OK, sometimes he couldn’t believe he was really an author either. Yep, I like this guy.
So I ordered four of his books and started reading. And you know what? They are GOOD. Not just good because, “Hey, I know this guy,” but good because they drew me into the story and had me identifying with a character that is about as far from me as you can get.
I like these books enough to tell YOU about them.
The author is Barry Eisler and the first book in the series is Rain Fall. His character John Rain is a paid assassin working in Japan. His descriptions of Japan are so rich I feel I’m there. The tech toys are good enough to make even Jeff Turner sit up and pay attention. Rain is a remorseless killer, and yet I like him and worry about him when he’s in a tight spot. I suppose his flaws make him interesting, but there’s more to it than that. I like him in spite of himself. Barry Eisler is GOOD.
Even though the books are very different, his series reminds me of John Sandford’s Prey series. If you like those books (Boomer) then I think you’d probably like these as well.
If you use the internet and social networks wisely, the world becomes a beautiful place where we’re all close enough to be friends.
And Barry, if you have Google Alerts on your name -- Hey, how you doing?