Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 31 December 2007


You are just done with your London walk and you start your Powell marathon! 'Marathon' is the very word you used when you first introduced us to 'Dance to the music of time' last June or July. But I hope you get only pleasure and no pain at all.

That's my edition, too, and mine are falling apart, too! I need good quality hardcovers, but no-one prints them any more - and getting a second hand matching set is both v hard and v costly.

That's a very satisfying ritual, I'm sure. I was surprised to come across a couple of vols (numbers 5 and 6, I think) in the paperback edition with Marc's cartoon designs in one of those remainder shops that seem to sell fewer and fewer books and more and more other stuff. I snapped them up, and want to find the other novels in the sequence in that edition to replace my old set, now sadly disintegrating.
Happy reading!

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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