Saturday, July 29, 2006

Alexandria

A life without books would be an existance deviod of meaning.

I am forever grateful to my parents who saw to it that I got my very own library card when I was 6 and by the way, that was how I was ceremoniously ushered me into the magical world of geekdoom. Entry into bookwormship normally entailed above- average English and a compulsory distate for PE. (Wearing glasses and braces - optional). Of course I had the super deluxe Platinum Package with being Teacher's Pet and School Prefect thrown in.
Disgusting, I know. But that is another story.

Where was I? Oh yeah, books.

I count myself lucky to have friends who are voracious readers, some of whom also share my inclination for demons and death. I throughly enjoy fantasy mainly because current events are just so distasteful that it's not so hard to find refuge in magic and alternate realities. Living in denial, perhaps but I look forward to my 8 tentacled mythical creatures, bells of death and neatly packaged endings.

Fictional violence I can deal with. Especially if they were written for young readers. Happy endings mostly guaranteed. I am about to begin the Earthsea quartet classic by Ursula Le Guin. Took me forever to get a copy of the book from the store.

Notice how more and more books seem to come out in series now? I kept being lent the first in the series and I end up having to buy the remainder. Hence to my exasperation, I am not able to lend a boxfull of novels to anyone as I can't imagine anyone who would want to read a series from the second books onwards.

However in a strange course of events, I was given book 2 and book 3 of Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin. It's quite expensive this collection. One novel is over RM50. I finally bit the bullet and bought the first book. Despite not having anything to do with anything remotely fire breathing, I finished all the books within weeks. Set in gay San Fransisco, the books chronicles the lives of the tenants of 28 Barbary Lane, circa 1970 or thereabouts. Naturally its about decadence, drugs, nail biting suspence and sexual liberation. And in the words of the character Michael Tolliver, its as gay as a goose. And what a fun fun fun read. I still need to get book 4, 5, and 6. It's a pity that the books I want are never on sale.

2 comments:

Perineum Speaks said...

Ahhh, if only I can suppress the humanist (cough cough) streak, to disengage from the 'distateful' state of the present, too-real world we live in, and immerse me good self in the realms of Fantasy.

Anyway Dearie, if you do find time left to leap back from your escapist escapade, let me have the audacity of recommending (I still have yet to check out your Marian Keyes) the writer that currently have me in the grip of his stories - the late (died 31 May this year) Pramoedya Ananta Toer.

Ok I will not waste your time, space, nor bore you to death and write on about him (may i? may I?)

Anyway, IF you can, try to read his 'Buru Quartet' Series. Bits of History is weaved into a beautiful, poignant and sad story. Aspects of Colonialism that you hardly get to read about in your regular history books. Of perceived and imposed European superiority over the Natives (in this case, the Dutch), of subjugation, of slavish subservience, of the struggles and ....

Oh shit, I have made it sound really depressing. But let me stress to you again, its all weaved into a beautiful sad poignant story.

Did I tell you that his works have been translated into 20 over languages? He was a Nobel-Prize nominee for i dont know how many times. Imprisoned, first by the Dutch (4 years), then by the Suharto regime (fuck that old man, bila nak mampus) for another 14 years in Buru Prison, and was chosen by Time as one of Asia's most influential guy. Blah blah blah

here i go again. I should shut up.

Why do i always blab on and on to you???

P.S Mama, I'm coming home! (come Nobember)

Monster said...

No worries. I checked out his books yonks ago but as I found it did not contain a single flying squid or horny dragon, i passed.

His books are expensive, even more so now that he is dead.

The last thing I want to read is about imperialism. I am waging war against commercial banks for their tyranny but thanks for the tip.