…entre nous soit dit…

between me you and the gatepost.

Phnom Penh Airport

Well sitting here in the cafe waiting for our plane to be called for boarding and just thought I’d add a small note about the book that I’m finally finishing after putting it down for a while. Thanks to Dom’s rave reviews of ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy (now a full motion picture staring Viggo Mortensen), when I saw it in Mondulkiri at the place we stayed I exchanged ‘The Quiet American’ by Graham Greene which I had just finished.

        

Besides initially hating the style of writing at first (but now having come to terms with it and almost enjoying the style), I like how original his idea is. A post apocalyptic world and the things that have to be faced. However, he says quite a few things that shocks me purely for his brutal honesty. I had one such example while we were waiting in line just before:

They walked into the little clearing, the boy clutching his hand. [The other people had] taken everything with them except whatever black thing was skewered over the coals….. He turned and looked again. What the boy had seen was a charred human infant headless and gutted and blackening on the spit.”

Kudos to you McCarthy. You are truly disturbed sometimes. It’s not like it’s the only time though. Cannibalism plays a rather large role in the story. But it made me ask, if I had to have a body part cut off to be eaten, what would I choose to go first. Mum chose her left arm – she doesn’t need it for writing and it wouldn’t stop her from running away. I chose my breasts. As weird as that sounds. But lets face it, they’re annoying when running, they won’t impede running or fighting if they’re gone (in fact it would help), there’s no major arteries to worry about bleeding out from, no bones to snap or dislocate, and at the end of the day, they’re meaty…. well sort of. It’s a disturbing idea, but it sort of made sense at the time.

In a previous chapter of the book, McCarthy describes another canibal situation. The father and son have just discovered a house which seems abandoned and they are searching it. They find a trapdoor in the floor that’s lock and the father breaks it open hoping to find food. They  both go down into the dark with only a lighter. Here’s McCarthy’s description:

“Huddled against the back wall were naked people, male and female, all trying to hide, sheilding their faces with their hands. On the matterss lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt. The smell was hideous.
Jesus, he whispered.
Then one by one they turned and blinked in the pitiful light. Help us, they whispered. Please help us.” 

It turns out that the whole house is set up as a trap to lure the lone surviving travelers, whereby the group that lives there then traps them and keeps them for their next meal. The book has some pretty harsh realities, and it’s for that that I commend McCarthy on his work. Not for his writing style – it reminded me of ‘Cloudstreet’ by Tim Winton all too much.

Anyways, that’s pretty much all I wanted to say. What limb would you choose to go first if you had to?

February 5, 2010 Posted by | Book, bored, Cambodia/Vietnam Trip, Travel | 1 Comment

Quote of the Week #15

B: “Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.”

(I don’t want to credit this because of the prejudice I know it will inevitably receive but I will….)

– Stephanie Myer –

September 4, 2009 Posted by | Book, Quote of the Week, Quotes by People | 5 Comments

Review: Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce

The second book in the Beka Cooper series, tells of her first adventure as a fully fledged Dog. The tale follows her and the various partners she is assigned, until mounting circumstances lead her and Goodwin to Port Caynn to investigate a problem with counterfeit silver. The novel details her first proper ‘hunt’ and the trouble she finds herself in along the way with a mixture of suspense and a lot of predictability. The second book also sees an introduction of a new cast of characters, while also keeping the characters from the first book in the background action. 

Bloodhound is a brilliant follow up to Terrier, although it lacks the charm and wonder that Pierce managed to convey in he tales about Alanna, and definitely lacks the suspense and build up held in The Trickster series, which only contained two books.

I’m hoping that the third and final book for the series, Mastiff, will have Rosto appearing as the main man in Beka’s life again, and I’m more interested to see how Pierce will play out the Corus situation, in particular with The Dancing Dove and the small pieces that tie into all the other Tortall books. I’m holding out for Beka to finally give into Rosto, and then it will almost be a mirrored story of Alanna, but we shall have to wait and see…

June 8, 2009 Posted by | Book, book review, childhood, just for shits and giggles | Leave a comment

Oh the frustration of a good book!

I have a sense of loss coursing through me right now. 
Not in the sense like I’m absolutely devastated because a piece of my heart was ripped out by something or someone, but as in my mind doesn’t know what to do now, because there is no more. It’s the dreaded feeling when you get to the end of a brilliant series of books or stories – or anything that has kept you enraptured, and personally for me anything that has had my imagination thrilled and completely and utterly captured. 
After reading 2379 pages over 4 different books of the one series, and being completely and utterly drawn to it for an entire 7 days straight, I feel like I’m suddenly entering withdrawal symptom territory. This always happens after reading a brilliant series. Something that has me thinking day and night. 
Heck, I’d been reading every time I was driving and stopped at the traffic lights, I even made the nurse give me an extra hour to read before my operation and made sure the drugs that I had wouldn’t make me too drowsy to be able to read after the operation (despite being heavily sedated with anesthetic and what not, with a side serving of heavy pain killers to top it off). I couldn’t put this series down… and now there is no more.
It’s like running a 200 meter race in the olympics only to find a huge brick wall on the finish line. The adrenalin pumps through you the entire time your going, and then as you reach the end your ecstatic that it all ends happy, but you realise you can’t cross that line because there’s nothing on the other side for you. You’re never going to know what happens after that line. That ending. 
It’s almost an anti-climax, despite being so overjoyed at the happy ending.
It’s bitter sweet really.
But so totally worth it.

December 19, 2008 Posted by | Book, emotions, experiences, moods, observation | 4 Comments