VALLEY OF FIRE
For it is a fact that a man can be profoundly out of step with his times. A man may have been born in a city famous for its idiosyncratic culture and yet, the very habits, fashions, and ideas that exalt that city in the eyes of the world may make no sense to him at all. As he proceeds through life, he looks about in a state of confusion, understanding neither the inclinations nor the aspirations of his peers.
But events can unfold in such a manner that overnight the man out of step finds himself in the right place at the right time. The fashions and attitudes that had seemed so alien to him are suddenly swept aside and supplanted by fashions and attitudes in perfect sympathy with his deepest sentiments. Then, like a lone sailor adrift for years on alien seas, he wakes one night to discover familiar constellations overhead.
And when this occurs—this extraordinary realignment of the stars—the man so long out of step with his times experiences a supreme lucidity. Suddenly all that has passed comes into focus as a necessary course of events, and all that promises to unfold has the clearest rhyme and reason. —Amor Towles