Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Ripping Yarns

There's been a few great books by my bedside lately but whenever I try to shout about them on the sidebar of AWineDark Sea, this message comes up:
"We're sorry, but you have exceeded your photo upload quota. For more information, check out Blogger help page."
Mmmm. Exceeded my photo upload quota.
So I went to the blogger 'help' page and was respectfully told that for a certain amount of cold hard cash every month, I can still let folk know the books I am reading. Surely this is a mere glitch (and just a sidebar glitch, mind) but it bugs me. Maybe it is the Scot in me. But why should I hand my black bream/starving artist revenue over to some internet mobsters? I upload 'original content' ie, my stories and ripping yarns and photographs every week or so, expose them forever as open slather for pirates and scrapers on their news and shopping sites, and then Blogger (or Google) want my cash to put a book cover image on my sidebar. Bah.

(Tonight, a storm is ripping through the south west corner of the country. The eucalypts were not expecting it because the wind came from the other direction and their big, loose branches are crashing into other limbs and onto the ground. Wolf, the brindle dog with a dark past, didn't expect it either. He's under the table, shuddering as every lump of corrugated iron tears loose from the roof.)

Anyhoo ... this:

Recently I've been telling my daughter Pearlie the story of the south west forest blockades that took place in the 1990s. She is way too young to remember when I put her to bed in the back of a Combi van as we drove through the night on our way to the protests in the bush, seeing the karris loom up against the headlights, trying to find our way to Giblett block. She was a babe in my arms when we were buying supplies and the gorgeous, dreadlocked violinist Dana asked the checkout girls, in a town where all the local lumberjacks were about to be put out of work by the realpolitik:
"Can you tell me how to get to the forest blockade?"

I love the whole idea of what Anna Krien has done in Into the Woods. It is Tasmanian adventure but I know she has taken on all of the politics and anxieties of environmentalism in Australia. I got the book in the mail this afternoon, so I have not read it yet ... but, all power to you Anna.

Oh yes, yes, the red dress and Paul Thoeroux.
A dried-up travel writer living in Martha's Vineyard goes to Ecuador, follows a snaky river down to  a village where he discovers a plant that will help him see/send him blind.
(Wolf is leaning against my leg now, pleading me to save him from the lightning.)

It has been twenty years since this 'travel writer' wrote his last book but when he returns he takes the drug datura every day and dictates to his girlfriend. Every day he is blinded, then in the evenings his vision is restored. The games begin.
The writer meets the president but the president is preoccupied with his secrets. Possibly a certain chubby intern and her stained blue dress are on his mind. Princess Diana dies, too.
The centre of this book is split open, is horny as ... American style.
A bit of purple, yes.
Gawd. I had this novel handed over to me in a cafe the other day by a well meaning friend. Half way through it, I felt like saying to him,
You bastard! How could you do this to me. You know I don't have a boyfriend. Not fair.


  1. Scam, scam, scam. Nice storm, though. I love storms, me.

  2. Yes, it must be some sort of rort Tom. But for the moment Doust and Kerouac stay there, even though they were read weeks ago.

  3. Excellent. Was that Dousty handing over that book?