Sunday, May 24, 2009

How intolerable life would be without books and bookshops

Can't help but agree and fully endorse this comment by Andrew Marr:

Books and Bookshops

The Champion of the World

Stories from the New Yorker also included the original adult story on which - 'Danny the Champion of the World' is based by Roald Dahl. It must have seemed an odd choice for the New Yorker, a story about poaching in middle England in the 1940s. It has the same humour, the twist in the tale that Dahl's stories have but it is fresh and original and it doesn't have the strained seriousness that some of his other stort stories have. I found it a joy to read.

The Golden West

I started to re-read 'Stories from the New Yorker 1950-60' this week. There was a curious story called 'The Golden West' that I started some time ago. It features a Hollywood party at the end of the 1950s. The boom years of Hollywood are over and the remaining executives and film industry tycoons are hanging on for dear life with very little work about but still retaining the glamorous lifestyles and all the tension seems to come to the surface at this dinner party around a swimming pool in the Hollywood hills.

As seems to happen to me I was reading in 'The Independent' today that the exact same thing is happening in Hollywood today because of the recession:

Mass sacking of Hollywood agents

A cunning mixture of the whimsical and the deadly serious, a couple are having an argument. The male of the couple owns a production company and despite everyone's worries about the business his only concern is the problems with his wife. The latest argument occurred after the wife - who sleeps in a different room because the husband snores, came in to the room and made a funny face at him. Thinking he was asleep but no, he was only pretending to be asleep and he saw the funny face and was deeply offended. As events proceed it gets sillier and more serious all at the same time which kept me entranced.

The story is by Daniel Fuchs - who I haven't heard of but was a joy to read. Last week I went to a seminar on bullying and harassment. I couldn't help but think if the tutor would define it as harassment - if I went in to my bosses office and thinking he was asleep made a funny face at him but in reality he was only half asleep and he saw me do it. Would he be able to make a complaint against me? From this you can tell how interesting my job is!