Free Falling
by Stobie Piel, time travel (1999)
Leisure, $5.50, ISBN 0-505-52329-9

How did that Tom Petty song go? Because I'm free... I'm free falling... Well, that song is fun, about a confused rogue trying his hardest not to feeling heartbroken for breaking a nice girl's heart. One day, someone should write a story about that nice girl turning the tables on that guy who is too afraid to let her get to him. This book, however, well... let's say the hero will be better off - not to mention me - if he had the foresight to stuff a roll of Superstrong Sticky Scotch Tape into his pockets right before he take that dive from the plane with his ex, Cora.

Cora, you see, decides to take up skydiving. That chicken, of course, wants to back out but hello, who is the instructor but her jolly ol' ex, Adrian de Vargas. Anyone with such a sexy, swashbuckly Inigo Montaya-ish name is bound to be a hunk. He is.

They skydive together, feel the latent zinga-zinga between them still alive and kickin', then woosh! They get sucked up in a whirlwind and end up in 1869 Phoenix.

She's a good girl, loves her Momma... loves Jesus and America too.

Sorry, got carried away by fond memories of that Tom Petty song. That's the problem. I keep getting distracted by the title of this book. Especially when Cora just refuses to stop talking in the book. It doesn't matter if the things she says is fine and intelligent, but she talks stupid, inane things worse than a really bad Sandra Hill heroine on an even worse day.

She talks to 19th century American Indians, telling them about sunscreens and her education in college and the art galleries and McDonalds and antibiotics and... bla bla bla... yadda yadda yadda... yak yak yak... there are paragraphs where all Cora did was to talk and everyone else fades into the periphery. She's christened Talks Much by the Indians, but then again, these peace-loving one-dimensional cardboard characters are too kind. Me, I'd call her The Giant, Droning Walking Blabbermouth From The Sublingual Depths Of The Oral Abyss. A mouthful, but I trust Cora would turn it into a tongue-twisterly thing.

There's some plot twists about the hero who may not be in the wrong time in the 19th century after all, and some matters of choices, destiny, and human rights, but these are all drowned out by Cora's incessant chatter. She's like a loud jackhammer drill that jars my senses until after a while I sort of tuned the irritating sounds out. Altogether now:

She's a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It's a long day living in Reseda
There's a freeway runnin' through the yard
And I'm a bad boy cos I don't even miss her
I'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart
And I'm free, free fallin'
Yeah I'm free, free fallin'...

Rating: 34

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