Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Swerving Out of Fear

My life has maintained a just flow as of late. The Manchester Derby arrived and my side took a bruising. Recoiling form such I sought out Hrabal’s Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age. What a strumming delight that proved. The pain from Old Trafford subsided, albeit briefly, I was both captivated and tenderly embraced by the human asides of hilarity, boredom and tragedy.

My wife meanwhile was reading The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. I had actually checked it out form the library two days before it won the Booker Prize. Yesterday we swapped books and I devoured the tale of mnemonics and ethics in a single evening. It was a delight afterwards and this morning to discuss and compare the cryptic ending from this gem of a novel.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Who Drove The Ambulance?

It is a golden day here in the backwater. Despite the banging of the lid on the computer desk, I remain charmed, listening to Purcell, and reading to fruition The Elegance of the Hedgehog, a novel which divisive in the larger scheme of things, or at least among the Druids of Goodreads. I must rush to admit that I am smitten with the novel. My wife finished Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy last night and we revelled, my own intuition, there is considerable overlap thematically and such is embraced and esteemed.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

On Reamde

"There are times when you wonder if Reamde is the smartest dumb novel you have ever read or the dumbest smart novel." - Tom Bissell, The New York Times Book Review

1000 Page Stinkers

Reamde was put to bed yesterday. Should I say bin? It was completed and then my wife and I walked the two miles to the library and I returned it for the next hopeful soul willing to endure its heft for some transcendence or insight. There isn't any. Neal Stephenson has constructed a hyper-macho world of nerdy descriptions of swordplay and firearms. Thankfully this was wed with an alluring illumination into scientific curiosity. The product was largely exciting literature, even if one wanted to skim the action scenes. This enterprise ran aground early in Reamde. I kept plugging away. I was tempted to return the book at p. 700 but it was a Sunday and who wants to be depressed?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Such is my hefty task at the present. Likewise Bram Stoker's Dracula, which I've wanted to read in October for a while now.

I read a novel titled The Canal a few weeks back. It belongs to the self-proclaimed Off-Beat Generation. It was a pleasant experiment.

Sunday, October 02, 2011


We had never learnt to dance, and, for some reason, we had supposed it to be a thing which everybody could do quite easily and naturally. I think Linda realized there and then what it took me years to learn, that the behavior of civilized man really has nothing to do with nature, that all is artificiality and art more or less perfected. -- Nancy Mitford

This past week began with my enjoying Excellent Women by Barbara Pym; it is such an austere book, one streaked with regret. The persisting wit within is such delight, if only in relief. I followed that with The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford, from which the above was cited.

Samizdat has selected White Savage by Fintan O'Toole as its next read, that appears promising, as does Chris Wickham's The Inheritance of Rome.