Saturday, November 28, 2020

Pomp and Circumstance by Noël Coward

 This book was reviewed on the wonderful blog Stuck in a Book. Pomp and Circumstance is the sole novel by playwright Noel Coward. [Spoilers follow.]


The setting is a fictional south seas British colony (Samola) and an upcoming visit of the Queen and her consort. The British residents of the island first try and keep the visit a secret, unsuccessfully. Then they try and plan an extravaganza worthy of the visit. 

In the midst of the planning, a duchess arrives who intends on having a bit of fun with local playboy Bunny. Of course, things don't end up as planned, and we the readers get to enjoy comedy.

I'd never read any of Coward's plays, but my wife has had a biography of his on the shelves for a few years and the cover has intrigued me. I might try one of his plays, if they're anything approaching as funny as this novel.

For lovers of Greene, Sharpe, Amis, this story is a fun read. And for anyone out there who has had to plan for Distinguished Visitors, you'll certainly find much that is familiar in this book. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

A Good Man in Africa

 Can't quite remember what brought me to William Boyd's book. Maybe a WSJ review? I was reading something about him somewhere and thought immediately of Graham Greene and Tom Sharpe. Decided on A Good Man in Africa after a quick read over the book's description. 


Hilarious. I will read more from Boyd. There's one particular scene here that reminded me of my ROTFL while reading Sharpe's Wilt. This book is a bit of Wilt mixed with Greene's The Honorary Consul. Wonderful. 

In other news, W&P continues. I think I'm just over 60% done, and that's page 780 or so. Never ending...

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Marcus Aurelius's Meditations

I read Aurelius's Meditations for my Dewey Decimal Challenge. This book knocks out the 100-199 group. I think I only have the 200s left. I might read Hans Küng's The Catholic Church: A Short History to finish off the challenge. Here's the review of Meditations I put on Goodreads. I gave it three stars. Mostly yawn:
 
Book 1: Longest Oscar speech ever. 
Book 2: Life is short and you're gonna die. 
Book 3: You get old and senile then who cares. 
Book 4: All you need is yourself. Screw everybody else. 
Book 5: Get the f^ck out of bed and work, or: Marcus Aurelius as the first Calvinist. 
Book 6: Embrace the suck. 
Book 7: Death by quotations: Everyone else said better stuff. 
Book 8: You can't fight Nature. 
Book 9: Mind your own damn business. You're gonna die anyway. 
Book 10: Reflect on yourself and your soul. 
Book 11: Doctor Aurelius, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Others. 
Book 12: Don't be a jerk, or no one will care when you, inevitably, die.

The Double, by Jose Saramago

 This is my first Saramago that I've read. My wife loved  Blindness . I couldn't get into it years ago when I attempted it. But this...