The headline here is an ironic acronym coined by my daughter Elizabeth and me. It stands for Triumph Of The Human Spirit. We use it to describe a particular kind of fiction in which the hero or heroine overcomes incredible adversity, all the while remaining almost inhumanly Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent.
Books like Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True come to mind. Elizabeth, by the way, refers to that particular novel by the name I Know This Book is Long. She’s right. I waded through the thing myself—all 912 pages of it—and I’ve been on a strict Wally-free literary diet ever since.
My wife Marge just finished another TOTHS novel a day or two ago and noticed a couple of surprising typographical/grammatical errors in the thing. When she told me about this I assumed that she had been reading a cheap edition, but on second thought I’m beginning to wonder if the problem was that the proofreader kept nodding off. There is, after all, a limit to how much TOTHS anyone can take.