No one treated me with any more or less respect after that. No one talked about it at all. Life went on, minus Myopic, which meant it was no different.
Indeed, the only effect I can record is this—that from then on I seemed to be regarded as one of those people it was very sensible to place yourself behind when playing the game of Trojan Crunch.
Leon Uris was a man with a great skill for turning recent history into terrific drama. Exodus was his best work, and I learned all about the ejection of the British from Israel as well as some in depth stuff about the Nazi prison camps. What made Uris superior at this form was his restraint—he refused to exaggerate for the benefit of his heroes, which was quite an achievement for in those days you had to stick to the formula to succeed. Making the formula fit the facts—it was quite a feat.
Unfortunately, his writing ability did not measure up to the enormity of his task. Perhaps it was the effect of writing about factual events from the point of view of a journalist, but his technique was always bland and efficient, and never interesting. Despite the monumental and fascinating events that he described, he was always just a little bit flat. There was a strange magnificent tediousness about it all. The result was that the reader became trapped—growing increasingly bored but knowing the work was far too important to give up on. It all became quite a chore to get through.
And there was a problem with the method as well—Ari Ben Canaan was far more like a movie hero than a real person (Paul Newman played him to perfection in the movie which kinda proves the point) and all the other characters suffered similarly to some degree. The result was that he denied the reader the opportunity of suspension of disbelief, and therefore was never quite believable even though you knew he was telling the truth. Somehow, even at that tender age, I suspected that this was the way they wanted the story to be told, rather than the way it really was.