In the twilight that chiefly characterises my present life, there are few things that bring a moment of cheer. Finding a book I have been seeking for some time is a prominent one and I have been lucky – quite very lucky – in this endeavour over the last two weeks. I gather you will be anxiously awaiting the details of this feat, and I am also agog to tell you about it.
It began last week, Wednesday, the January 5, 2011, to be exact… well, no it began slightly earlier than that. It was November or December of 2010, (I am a little hazy of the exact dates) that I abandoned my usual dithering in selecting books and finally bought one of the Doctor Siri series by Colin Cotterill. It was the one titled “The Merry Misogynist”. After reading it, I was quite impressed by the good doctor, who in his early 70s, is made the national coroner of Laos by the communist government and strives to do his work and cope with the absurdities of the system, and eagerly returned to the establishment from where I had purchased it to pick another – the splendidly titled “Love Songs from a Shallow Grave”. Well, I made haste to pick it since there were two copies – with a marked price differential. I took the more reasonably-priced copy, and as I read it, I was fully hooked.
Leave the content, the style was so refreshingly different and captivating that I was determined to get the rest – I established there were five more in the series. Aye, thats the rub. There was another of the series available in the same establishment but I decided to be fiscally prudent for the time being – given the impending journey I had to make and the liquidity needs thereof. There was also the marked need to have a couple of good books to read on the way – and I don’t trust myself to restrain myself to read something once it is in my possession. However…..
Well it was a few weeks later that when I was at home, I paid a visit to a splendind bookshop that has come up there. And what do I find there? And in just five minutes of browsing – two more of the Dr Siri series – “The Curse of the Pogo Stick” and the intriguingly titled “Anarchy and Old Dogs”. One was reasonably-priced and the other one was not. Did that make any difference? Not at all – I wouldn’t let go of them and even the few minutes when I had to hand them over to the staff for the billing were a wrench.
Among the first things I did as I returned to the city of my residence ….- well I am running out of time so I think I should close this post at a moment of suspense, or as they say in the trade a “cliff-hanger”.
As it happens, was this some other media, then it would have been the time for an excited disembodied voice to declaim – What did he do when he returned? What happened in the quest for the other books? What else did he find? To know the answer to this and many other questions, continue to see this very show after the break.
(Well this system of breaking off narrative – at a cliffhanger or otherwise – has its grotesque sides sometimes. I do recall – in those days of unhurried life and the all-powerful radio – someone ending the weekly installment of acquainting us with the Man of La Mancha and his adventures, announcing: “So here we leave Don Quixote on his own ass till next week” ….or words to this effect. What is the connection with the above post? Well it proves something though I am not sure what….
To be continued..