mercoledì, gennaio 09, 2008

More books on trains

One of them was Dr. Slaughter, the first dip of my toes into the fiction of Paul Theroux. I was nervous. Could it compare with his travel writing, which brought my burning crush on? No. There's much more bum sex in Dr. Slaughter; it gets to feel like an excuse to examine the female, bummed perspective. As an exercise in that, it's pretty good, and he has a convincing narrative voice whilst adopting the perspective of an egomaniac bitch. And I have a weakness for international oligarchy conspiracy theories - they'd make the naughtiness of it all make so much more sense - so I had a soft spot for this book. But I'd take one of his travel books any day.

By the way, in terms of international oligarchicy conspiracy theory books, the best I've ever read was Rediscover Toast, by Alfred Wolfgang Truss. It's probably impossible to find, but it's just about the only comedic novel I still bother keeping on the shelves. Deeply creepy.

I think the only other book I read on trains, besides a collection of essays by Paul Theroux called Sunrise with Seamonsters that I'll go on about some other time that I decide to have a little blogasm over how great Paul Theroux is, was Musicophilia, by Oliver Sacks. I think Oliver Sacks gets his own blogasm too, or at least Musicophilia does, some week I haven't blown my pop science credits on talking about how Richard Dawkins is a self-serving humanities illiterate. Anyways, Musicophilia was keen - I recommend it. But I think it would help to read a couple of his other books first because he mentions the case studies from those quite a lot here, with less details obviously.

It seems like a lot of books in retrospect, but it needs judging based on the amount of time we spent on trains this holiday. To put it in perspective, we're thinking of travelling to Italy by train this summer. Going from one side of Europe to the other like that will take almost as long as being endlessly fucking delayed by the fucking incompetence of the fucking UK rail 'system' whilst travelling from fucking London to fucking North Yorkshire to fucking Bath to fucking Birmingham and back to fucking London, so I should be able to get in a good big pile of reading then, too.

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