War on the Wheels

War on the Wheels
The story of the people

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

In Cold Blood - cont

I will write my impressions of this novel as I work my way through it. Having had the aloof reportage fro the prologue, the description becomes more vivid as the moment of the murder approaches. An example is the pain in Perry's knees (p54) Perhaps I begin to see some force within Perry which results in the hideous crime? But the description generally becomes sharper. At around about page 60 a first person narrator becomes prominent. The eye witness accounts add to the gradual build up

Monday, 27 October 2008

In Cold Blood, Truman Capote

This is a provisional post having read the first forty pages, that is up to the inciting incident. It is reportage. I had the opportunity to compare it to Mary Wesley's Camomile Lawn (bear with me there is a point here!). I picked up this book at 3am to get me back to sleep. It was a mistake since the characters in the TV series flooded through my mind. The book though was disappointingly wooden. The first pages are close packed back story quite undisguised as dialogue or any such thing. Capote also has to communicate a load of background and also uses some chunky paragraphs but in his case punctuated by some showing in dialogue and action. I am stuck how much I dislike being told something in a book.
I will now read on and report back in a day or two.

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Heart of Darkness

I have been longing to read this book ever since it took centre stage in the myth module. For me since then it became a myth. Marlow and Kurtz took on flesh both staring intently at the Golden Bough. Now I have read it. I was back in the Scramble for Africa, in the Brussels Museum, in the yet to be written story of my father who went to East Africa in his late teens before WW1. Marlow on the ship in the Thames was surreal. The archetypal story teller talking to Everyman. He then journeys into Africa and into himself. Had I the time I could read endless commentaries, as it is for now I will make do with my own take. Pilgrims, forests, staves are words not associated with Africa. Cannibals are and how interesting to read unemotional justification. I was looking forward to long conversations with Kurtz but they never come. Everything comes to Marlow as myth and in his own imagination.
I will read it again one day.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Marsden, Philip The Main Cages

This book is set in Cornwall in the 1930s. It has a protagonist, Jack, who comes to the sea as an adult and grows in his knowledge of it as the book progresses. The antagonist is the sea and this is painted richly from first hand knowledge by the author but supplemented by extensive research. There is an artistic sub plot with echoes for me from DH Lawrence who was in Cornwall at about the same time. The development of tourism brings out an interest of mine in seeing who did well in the interwar years. The inciting incident is the rushed repair of a ship for trips for hotel guests; the antagonist become the demon money personified by Bryant the industrialist from Birmingham. The crisis is when the fuel cap is left off allowing water into the engine. The wreck which follows is told in what I would term reportage. The surprise comes that the disaster is not of this ship which is saved but rather the life boat which does the saving. The wreck scenes are pages turners, so much so that there was a temptation to skip some of the sub plot passages which intervened.