Bookish Monkey

Bookish holiday


I took it [Gravity’s Rainbow ] on holiday to Greece with me in 1987. For three days I manfully ploughed on until I realised that it was actually ruining my vacation. I’d only got to page 127, and in the meantime my friend had not only polished off Kennedy for the Defence but was steaming through A House for Mr Biswas. I jettisoned it in the left luggage locker at Nafpolio station. It’s probably still there.

– an unnamed contributor to The Guardian, 29 May 2004, from Julie Rugg and Linda Murphy, A Book Addict’s Treasury (2006).

I’m off on holiday to the Yorkshire Dales for the next week or so, where I confidently hope to be steaming through Oliver VII by Antal Szerb. Anti-Pynchonism aside, though, which I must deplore, this is a caveat. It might well end up being some as-yet-unsuspected treasure dug out of the secondhand bookshop in Settle. I don’t think I’ll be jettisoning this book down a buttertub, though, somehow. Postings, however, will be even sparser than usual.

UPDATE: The Pushkin Press site, to which the link above points, seems to be down at the moment, but here’s a link to the Guardian review of Oliver VII which begins:

Is it possible to construct a novel out of pure joy? To construct a Shakespearean idyll when Europe is being overrun by Nazis, and the writer, personally, is in great danger?