20.8.10

David Lodge - Paradise News


Rating 7.4

What did I learn from Paradise News?
Several things.

Now I can nonchalantly use terms like "lei", "pupu" and "moo-moo" in any conversation about Hawaii. Not that I had or will have many.

Apropos, don't you have the impression that Hawaii are out of fashion? Personally I don't know anyone who went there. And even the fact of being the accidental birthplace of Barack Obama is not helping as much as it could.

Why don't I see any hula dancers parading in the English streets?
Where are the pale tourists wearing Maui and Sons t-shirt?
When the last eruction of Kilauea was shown on TV?
What happened in Pearl Harbour: who attacked who?
How could Sir Paul McCartney forget about his ukulele?
Oh, Israel Kamakawiwo'ole why did you pass away so soon?



I have a theory.
There is a worldwide conspiracy against Hawaii.
Those islands were once spoiled and now there is nothing else to spoil.
Seasons 10 and 11 of "Baywatch" were the last offence, the final drop.
Hawaii have not recovered yet.

There where David Hasselhoff runs in his red underpants the grass doesn't grow anymore. Just think about all those California's wildfires.



Anyways, when David Lodge wrote this book (early 1990s) Hawaii were still in the newsreels and in the travel agencies brochures. It was a natural choice setting a novel in this paradise for the masses where a bunch of English tourists is heading to.
At first I thought Lodge wanted to follow all of these characters at the same time. Thanks God he didn't. I apppreciated the way he focused on a single main story involving a forty something theologian who doesn't believe anymore. An unbelievable character that Lodge made real.

Then once again there will be a lot of revolving speculations and funny situations on the very Catholic fear-of-Sex. The sceptical theologian will learn many practical things about love and lovers and will eventually find his own paradise on Earth. Discover how!

19.8.10

Björn Larsson - Long John Silver


Rating 7.9

For mysterious reasons, I have always postponed the moment in which I would have put my eyes on this book.
Then my good friend Mena, who is also my favourite bookpusher, read the novel and gently nudged me to fill my gap.

I have bought a second-hand English edition of this book so that my daily language can be pleasantly affected by the splendor of the sailor's slang.
This is a novel that stands in a class of its own. I wonder how it sounds like in Swedish. And in my mother tongue, Italian, of course.

In a manner of speakin', I am learnin' a whole lotta things.

Ay, if I'm not doin' it!
The likes of me are payin' their debt with the likes of Long John Silver and those messmates of him.

Ain't true that I'm becomin' more and more at ease with the privateers' jargon? Mebbe.
That wild bunch of scoundrels taught me how to use in a proper way terms like kneelhauling and round robin and John Silver himself show'd me how to arrange a decent barbecue on the bloody beach.
Me, meself didn't know that the life and perils of a distinguish'd gentleman of fortune could have been that interestin' to read.

Death and resurrection. Shipwrecks and knobsticks. Drinkin' and amputatin'. God and capt'ns. Slaveships and brotherhood. Mr.Defoe and L'Olonnaise. Gallows and foul-mouths. 'tis what you'll find here.
Naught but rum. Ay!