Thursday, October 28


Our local library is a wonderful place, much used by me and the cellmate. Of course, it's run by New South Caledonians, yet it works. I should take some photos inside it, and post them. If it isn't the best local authority library in the world, surely it's "the best in the southern hemisphere" (a much-abused local mantra). Makes you happy to hand over the cash when the rates bill arrives.

Thanks to them I've just finished reading William Boyd's latest (pretty good but relying on too many coincidences) and the new Jonathan Franzen (just wonderful if you're interested in relationships, character development, family history and dynamics).

And I've begun Alan Warner's 2006 novel The Worms Can Carry Me To Heaven. The disengaged contemptuous hero reminds me of books by e.g. Houellebecq (not sure about the spelling) or Easton Ellis. The first-person character is handed the black spot by his doc at the start of the book, but from there on there's no other mention of it. There's no emotion except for the anger implied by his disdain for humankind. If the guy was a bit concerned or introspective, I might care what happened to him. As it is, I'm wishing he would just hurry up and eff somebody before he dies.

But the author can really write well, and that's what's stopping me giving up on it. For a while I thought I had lost the book and would have to pay the library for a new copy. That would be adding insult to injury. I'm reminded of Woody Allen's whinging old lady in a restaurant: "The food's horrible ... and they give you such small portions!"

Anyway, thanks to the wonderful ratepayers of New South Caledonia, our library's got enough great books to keep me reading till I die and beyond. Now if only the library offered some decent ebooks, not just the usual free out-of-copyright stuff like Wilkie Collins and De Sade.

PS - thanks to their DVD section, I have just borrowed American Psycho, to save me having to read the book by said Easton Ellis. Also Inglourious Basterds (2009) and Evil Dead (1982). Not a single chick flick amongst them, so I think I'll have to watch them alone.


  1. Albert? It takes far too long to read a whole book! I haven't done that for years. They're such an investment in time and they may disappoint. The bliss never disappoints. There's oceans and oceans of the bliss. So, I have to ask myself, should I investigate the bliss or ... there is a middle way somewhere, I'm sure! Hotboy p.s. I'm surprised you're still reading real books. Haven't you got the information moduler in your tent?

  2. I say!

    How wonderful that your library is so good. Here in Malawi they also appreciate the importance of libraries, but of course there are only a few in the country.

    MM III

  3. Hotters, are you not counting all those tomes by blissologists and saints?

    Mingers, perhaps in Malawi all the librarians have left the country.