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Isn't daylight savings time over yet? I want to sink into winter now. The ground is plastered with wet leaves and the heaters are toasting my comics collection. I'm sore and tired and all the time feeling sick or wobbly.

Oh christ, can't I touch anything without it breaking? Presumably [a coworker] did something muy dumb, but even so. Idiot me.

Gah, this conversation sucks. Can you think of anything sensible to say about getting the vote at 16? When I was sixteen I was into amnesty and comics and Paradise Lost and probably believed in dumb-ass slogans like "if voting changed anything they wouldn't let you do it" if I thought about party politics at all.

It's Local Democracy Week this week. What's your local council doing?

And, in other news:

While I was away from the Oxfam Bookshop some noble soul came and bought the full set of Dragonlance books. Now we just have a complete set of Guy N Smith paperbacks (including a very lurid Sucking Pit and three different editions of Night of the Crabs) to dispose of. Wish us luck.

While on holiday I read:

1. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murukami which must have been a publisher's proof edition as it's not yet available in paperback. One of the benefits of working in the Oxfam Bookshop! Hate to say it of one of my favourite authors, but this reads like he strung together the chapters he didn't consider good enough for A Wild Sheep Chase with a few bits of unrelated stuff from the bottom of his bits and pieces drawer in a "the mortgage payments are due!" panic. One of the characters is an overrated middle-aged golf-playing cult writer. Danger! Danger!

2. The Complete Knowledge of Sally Fry by Sylvia Murphy, which is about being a female academic, children, and all the rest of that stuff. Funny format (as an encyclopaedia, of sorts), anti-romantic, not too much in the way of compromises or happily ever afters. Not bad. Left it in the cabin for the next person.

3. Heartbreak on the High Sierra by Fiona Cooper, a rip-roaring thigh-slapping lesbian western. More novella than novel, I'd have happily read a dozen more chapters than there were, but, well, you take what you're given. A bit too much sobbing at the end -- I'm more of a fighter than a hanky-waver -- but all in all very fine if you like that sort of thing which of course I do.

4. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov, very hip at the moment because of its very cute cover, title and premise (struggling writer lives with a King Penguin he bought from Moscow Zoo). The writing's OK, too, in an emotionally-stunted-hero-caught-in-evil-plots sort of way (think Leon, with added penguin and haplessness) but it feels a bit like it ended a chapter early, possibly even two chapters early. Fun though, so I passed it on to Adrian.

5. Suckers by Anne Billson, a shockingly awful vampire-slaying story set in the resin of docklands yuppiedom in the 80s boomtime. As it predates the emergence of the shagging and slaying genre by some years, it has to wheel out the tedious old "is it all in her head?" chestnut which goes with the whole vampire apocalypse plot, er, not at all. Also contains some cackhanded social/psychological commentary and some horrible sucker punches of unsignalled gore. Unfortunately failed to leave it on the areoplane, not sure what to do with it. Art, maybe?


( 9 worms — Feed the birds )
14th Oct, 2002 14:34 (UTC)
Dance Dance Dance is too out in PB, has been for a while. I got a damaged copy from work, praps I won't read it now though... I'm reading Sputnik Sweetheart & have read Norwegian Wood, but I gather his others tend to be a bit wackier? Anyway, love them both...
15th Oct, 2002 08:00 (UTC)
obviously suffering from confusion
Wackier is right. My favouritest of all is The Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but other people I know prefer The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, which is also amazing. You've read his two most straightforward, I think. Wouldn't want to put you off DDD (especially as you got a free copy!) it's still a good book -- I just expect better of him, you know?
15th Oct, 2002 09:59 (UTC)
Re: obviously suffering from confusion
Gotcha. I often read even the minor books by my favourite authors. I'll read it, it's lying around the house after all. Then I'll probably go for The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle - was always intrigued by the title...
(Deleted comment)
15th Oct, 2002 08:05 (UTC)
Re: "Death and the penguin"
I thought you'd read it, too. Funny, eh?

The sites seem interesting if a bit inpenetrable. My german is much worse than my french (which is poor). Wow! "Les éléphants de la planète mars se réveillent à minuit..." New slogan for my t-shirt!
15th Oct, 2002 09:57 (UTC)
Re: "Death and the penguin"
Les éléphants de la planète mars se réveillent à minuit

Is this the plot synopsis from the new James Bond movie?
15th Oct, 2002 11:10 (UTC)
Suckers by Anne Billson, a shockingly awful vampire-slaying story set in the resin of docklands yuppiedom in the 80s boomtime. [...] Unfortunately failed to leave it on the areoplane, not sure what to do with it. Art, maybe?

OUSFG library?
17th Oct, 2002 02:43 (UTC)
I think they have it already
Along with every charity shop in town, etc. etc.
16th Oct, 2002 14:51 (UTC)
Majere Mojo
What exactly do you mean by 'full' set of Dragonlance ... egads I hope you don't mean 'complete'?! :)

If that is the case, a very noble soul indeed!

Ahhh the hours I wasted on pulp retread production-line fantasy!

16th Oct, 2002 17:09 (UTC)
in fact we got two
At which point our sci-fi pricer flung up her hands and said enough with the madness and put one of the sets on e-bay.

And yes, they were full sets; she even gave it its own section.
( 9 worms — Feed the birds )