It was nice to wake up to this today: 600 Hours of Edward picked up a nice review from Palo Alto (Calif.) Daily News columnist John Orr. The headline of this blog post is the headline in the newspaper.

Full disclosure: I’ve known John a long time but not in any particular depth. For the better part of a decade, we both worked at the San Jose Mercury News, which at the time was a large newspaper, with more than 400 editorial employees (I hear the number is closer to 100 now). The place had three disparate newsrooms, so in general, the people you knew best were the ones who worked shoulder to shoulder with you. I was in sports, which had its own room. John was in features, in another part of the building. In the entire time we worked together, we probably shared less than a dozen brief conversations.

John touches on all of this in the review, amiably highlighting the difference between sports guys and what I can only imagine he considers to be the normal humans working elsewhere at a paper. This view is highly debatable, but I’ll let it pass.

A few years ago I worked at the San Jose Mercury News, where I was casually acquainted with a guy named Craig Lancaster. He was an editor in the sports department, I worked in features, so we didn’t know each other very well, but I did watch him win a Peeps-eating contest once. That was disgusting.

But, that’s the kind of thing people in sports departments do at newspapers, which is probably one of the reasons the Merc put those people off in their own room, far away from other human beings.

(A bit of correction: I didn’t win the Peep-eating contest. I’ve never won one. It’s not for a lack of trying.)

More from the review:

Into his well-controlled life come a young boy and the boy’s mother, who move into a house across the street. She has moved away from an abusive boyfriend.

Young boys are not to be denied, and the kid becomes Edward’s friend. Edward helps out when the abusive former boyfriend shows up. There is a scene at a hospital. Trouble ensues. A lot of trouble, and threats from Edward’s father and Edward’s father’s lawyer.

All that leads to some major choices for Edward. It leads to changing his life.

Orr finishes by urging folks to pick up the book. If you’re so inclined, it can be found at bookstores all over Montana, at Amazon.com or direct from me. Choices are good, right?

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