Tremor of Intent by Anthony Burgess #Burgess100

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Tremor of Intent by Anthony Burgess

English fiction

Source – personnel copy

Well today sees the 100th anniversary of the nirth of Anthony Burgess. You may ask why  me the translated fiction fan likes Burgess so much. Well like many young men of my generation his Clockwork Orange was part of those books us boys read back in the day, alongside brave new world, on the road , naked lunch , the naked and dead etc well I did read clockwork orange .But I feel Burgess really didn’t hit me to I read Dead man in Deptford around the time it came out in 93 I was really grabbed by him and read everything I could get my hands on at the time which was maybe half his books . But as this year loomed I had tried to get back and read more by Burgess I decided to buy all the books I haven’t got so far I have all his novels bar three early books one of those is changing hands for 300 pound , m/f ,man of Nazareth and beard roman woman. that said I have 27 novels by him to start reading as with Dead man in Deptford which has a spy twist in it I decide to read Burgess only outright spy novel.

“This damnable sex, boys – ah you do well to writhe in your beds at very mention of the word. All the evil of our modern times  springs from unholy lust, the act of the dog and the bitch on the bouncing bed , limbs going like traction engines , the divine gift of articulate speech diminished to squeals and groans and panting .It’s terrible, an abomination before god and His Holy Mother

The two lads are taught this at school , how can Hiller ever be like Bond !!

He wrote this as he found the spy novels of the time lack a sense of humour in them , so he decide to redress the balance with this book. The hero of his book is Dennis Hiller a spy sent to try to bring back a scientist that has defected. Roper the man who has defected is an old school pal . The two like Burgess himself grew up North and in a catholic school this is where the pair met . But also left Hiller scared so i=unlike Bond say he suffers Catholic guilt every time he make it with a woman and is remind of his teacher at school .So he arrives on the cruise where he has to try to persuade Roper to change his mind and not join a cruise , there is a woman Miss Devi a femme fatale  and a teen girl for him to contend with a and the Huge and mysterious mr Theodorescu , whom sound like he was a missing Bond villain a huge balding man who smoked cigars .This is more tension missed chances than action of the bonds say. This is a cat and mouse cruise through the Med as we see if Hiller comes back or was he meant to !!

This must be her boss , Mt Theodorsecu . He was nobel fatness; the fat of his face was part of its essential structure, not a mean gross accretion, and the vastly shapely nose needed those cheek-pads and firm jowls for a proper balance,..The chin was very firm.The eyes weren’t currants in dough but huge and lustrous lamps whose whites seemed to have been polished .He was totally bald , but the smooth scalp – from which a discreet odour of violets breathed – seemed less an affliction than an achievement, as though hair was a mere callow down to be shed in maturity.

The Villian is straight out of a Bond script , a sort of man like the Beast from fantastic four .

This is a tongue in cheek take on a spy novel . He want to change the dry books of say Le Carre,  so Hiller is flawed character  not from OXBridge , but deeper in a way  and unlike Bond isn’t easy with woman due to his upbringing  and for me this is of course the bit of Burgess I like for me he was the first writer I knew that was Northern but with out shouting I am Northern he grew up in the Manchester the same time as my own grandfather in those inter war years he like my grandfather is from a working background his father a piano player and tobacconist , my own great grand parent was a builder my grandfather trained to be architect but at night in the day he work with my grandfather on the build sites sort cleaning brick putting up walls etc so I imagine the two must have crossed paths at some time , not sure they ever did but for me Burgess is after his childhood and teen years he travellled , translated books ,wrote music and was a linguist which all connect him more to this blogger so watch out over the next year we will be travelling the world of Burgess .he is my pile to work through .

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Umbrella by Will Self

Umbrella by Will self

English fiction in modernist style

2012

source – review copy

Now I was a fan of Self’s early books having read grey area,my idea of fun ,the book of Dave amongst a few but its been six years since I ve read him the last book was the book of Dave .So when there was a lot of interested in his new book Umbrella ,which takes its title from a James Joyce quote I decide maybe it was time to go back and see what had change with Will Self since I last read him .Will self is london based writer and was in the 1993 Granta new writer list .He is well-known in the uk for his frequent media appearances in the UK on tv .He has published nine novel and eight short story collections and numerous books of non-fiction .

A brother is an easily forgotten as an umbrella

– James Joyce

opening the book this quote is a puzzle by the end you get it !!!

 

So umbrella ,I was looking forward to this book then I saw some people didn’t like it and other had struggled with it .This is Self’s take on modernism but we should be shocked I feel Self has played with styles all his writing life great apes was a Swiftian novel a bit like Guliver travels a man wakes in an environment where he is the odd one out  and Dorian was a tribute to Oscar Wilde  with a modern retelling of the picture of Dorian Grey .So this time he is tinkering with Modernism but is it a copy or is he bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st century well I m going go with the second of those views he has updated the Modernist style .So the book itself is mainly about the De’ath family (which after hearing an  interview recently with  Self is partly based from research he had done into his own family ) anyway the main character from this family in the book is Audrey De’ath we see here in the 1920 but she ends up with the sleeping sickness that spread the world at this time ,left her like a fly caught in amber alive but not interacting with the world as she is motionless and thus is really a person caught out of time anyway the second of many storylines in this book sees the return of one of Self’s favourite character Dr Zack Busner (Self said in the same interview I heard he keeps returning to this character because of his interest in psychiatry and the working of the brain ) .So what connects there two is that Busner is working with Audrey in the 1970’s in one of the old asylums to unlock her from her state .Now I ve not read or seen the film but supposedly this is a similar thing to the book from Oliver Sacks where he helped people with the same condition as Audrey .Elsewhere we see the world war via Audrey brother who is on the frontline .We also meet Busner in the here and now looking back on what happened in the seventies .

Miss Dearth ….Miss Dearth ? She doesn’t respond but she hears ,oh yes she does .They go on and repeat the same procedure for the three male guinea pigs ,who are found becalmed in their back water of the mens dormitory .Busner has charged Inglis with ensuring that all of them are got every morning cleaned and dressed and shaved .She was sarcasm itself :Ooh ,par-don ,Doc-tor ,but you want me to pre-tend dey goin’ onna Journey ? her hands on her hips ,her breast proud ,a reddy flush in her cheeks .Busner though bitterly,was her go-slow ever called off ?

as you see time drifts and it is hard to pin .

 

Now I like some modernist writers anyone that reads this blog Know I m a huge Henry Green fan one of the best modernist writers but also like James Joyce but never quite got Woolf  and yes in places he has feel of all  these writer are in there but also a large part of Self and his earlier works ,it has a stream of consciousness style to the narrative and a jumpy style where he starts in the 1920’s and some how ends the sentence in the 1970’s or now  ,I liked this it is like a core sample you sometimes see in a museum  instead of sticking throughout with years and layers of time  and going between them ,Self has taken a core sample and driven the narrative through time this can be initially quite disturbing too me as a reader, but after a time you get use to it and I always feel as a reader you need to be pushed to the limit  .There was a punctuation tick Self  uses  that did really annoy me at the start and it was the constant use of a … here there and everywhere but after a time this blended into the narrative and I noticed it less ,also like Joyce did he makes up words by sticking ends onto them so we get toothpasting this is a very Joycean thing to do in fact I follow a twitter feed  a Joyce fan that is listing all his inventive verbs for Finnegans wake .I enjoyed this book a lot more than other people it seems I ve now heard Self is planning to writer two further books so this is just the start of his modernist era or should that be neo modernist I feel he has paid homage to Joyce ,Woolf and Green but also thrown in enough of his style to make this feel like the beginning of a new style .This is one of three booker shortlisted books I ve read and this is just second on my list so far but I could see it winning the booker prize .It was a welcome return for me to a writer I used to enjoy a lot but had drifted away from .

Have you read this book ?

Do you like new takes on modernism ?

Injury time by Beryl Bainbridge

Injury time Beryl Bainbridge

English fiction

I read this as part of Gaskella Beryl Bainbridge week .I had Beryl Bainbridge down in my list of big scary Women writers ,those you who follow the blog know I struggle sometimes with big female writers .So Beryl Bainbridge is a name I ve been aware of for twenty year since my early days of following the booker prize .She was shortlisted on a number of occasions but never actually won the prize but shortly after her death they ran a Bainbridge booker of the books she’d had shortlisted and the book master Georgie won (I may try that next ).She grew up liverpool and her books mainly psychological and set in the working classes .She published over twenty novels .I saw a documentary on her that bbc showed a couple of years ago that involved her family and meant to try her then  so must thank Annabella   for giving me the push to read one of her books at last .

Now to injury time ,which I may say is a book of its time firsted published in the seventies .We meet Edward a man married to Helen but having an an affair with Binny ,He felt bad that his mistress is unable to do the things a wife could do so the book opens with him asking someone he knows Old Simpson and his other half Muriel he is the sort chap that is able to keep a secret .Now to be truthful the opening of this book just didn’t grab me .I saw this as a typical bit of seventies social commentary the dinner party being the big thing of the seventies as families got more disposable income this came the dinner parties in fact my heart started sink , think oh no is this a different take on Abgails party social satire I loved Abigail’s  party and would find it hard to get anything to match it    for the humour .But as we moved further on the fact this party has to finish at half  ten as Edward need to be home is maybe the first bit that tells you something is going to happen at this party to maybe mean Edward is going to be found out ,so the clock ticks as they await the guests .Then they arrive  late than expected and the party gets under way .This is where the book really drew me in as the party is suddenly crashed by a group of bank robbers .As one can imagine this adds a new dynamic to Edward’s rush to finish at half ten  and also means he won’t be home so as the party descends into farce .Well that’s enough of that I let you read the book to find out the rest .

They began dinner at a quarter past nine. Edward wondered agitatedly how he could possibly manage to eat ,help with the washing up,and be out of the house by half past ten at the latest .It would seem fearfully abrupt .

Edward start to panic ,when they arrive late .

I think the title is an allusion to the football game where if things are tight the amount of injury time can make the world of difference I remember the United game in 1999 where they won the European cup in injury time so like that this is Edwards injury time . I was also  reminded after reading the book  of two things by this book the first is the Harold Pinter play The birthday party in which a party is gatecrashed by two men,though that play is very dark the context of a party being gatecrashed is there and fact it been out for twenty years and Bainbridge did a lot of theatre criticism  she probably saw this and maybe it was a slight influence on the idea of the story .The second is an episode of only fools and horse where Del and Rodney suffered an intruder whilst on holiday he turns out to be an escaped prisoner and much farce follows as they try to make him go .Well I did in the end like this book not love it ,it was enough to make me want to try her again and yet again shows the value of having a reading week devoted to one writer .

Londoners by craig Taylor

I won this just before Christmas on twitter  and was intrigued by it and london in general as a northern and proud of it , who has only visited London on half a dozen occasions I wanted to see if this book by Craig Taylor, who is also  the editor of seven dials magazine would give me an insight into what it is to be a Londoner and is there any peace in the madness as it seems to the outsider .Craig spent over seven years interviewing people from all walks of life on what effect London has had on them and what they do every day  .The book is loosely organised in sections following an arc of arriving in london too what happens every day the people how entertain, feed and look after us whilst there and ultimately the people who see us into then next life .these range from pilot that bookends the book arriving at the airport and leaving as he puts it moving away from all that life in the city .

But london has cross winds .Nothing’s stable .Nothing’s set it can be tough work too. if it is rough you might duck into grey cloud pilot

Kevin Pover on landing in london but this nugget seems to sum up London a bit as well .

I loved Taylor’s style of interviewing letting people chat and obviously editing it into little nuggets and gems and getting rid of waffle whilst still keeping the feel of every person via the grammar and use of language .I felt like I spent seven years on a tube train every day talking to a different person or in a pub for seven years .Craig has done for modern London what the mass observation project did in the second world war ,captured it like a fly in amber  for all time .Some of my favourite people in the book where the Pakistan currency guy that had marfan syndrome just because he had that as a tall thin man this syndrome was often mentioned to me as something I may have due to my build and shape , till my mum took me for tests and I hadn’t it but his story remind me of that time .

I also has some problems with my health .Some eye problems .I had retinal detachment -I have a genetic reason for that ,Marfan Syndrome ,which makes me tall and causes eye problems . karman Sheikh currency trader talks about his health problems a syndrome I was suspected of having but didn’t .

The funeral director that show the cosmopolitan nature of London has led to him working with people in Poland and Nigeria on a regular basis even opening a branch in Nigeria as he was shocked at the facilities .

I went into one mortuary and there were bodies lying on the floor at various stages of decomposition when they’d not kept up the payments .

The ambulance man talking of delivering babies here there and every where also the fact he delivered babies of all races and every one is the same when it come to child-birth .this book is the best non fiction book I ve read all year and one everyone should read I think .

Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

Joseph Conrad or to give him his proper name Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski ,was a polish born writer he had a varied life ,working as a sailor ,where the kernel for this book came after a visit to latin america ,he settle in england in his twenties but still travelled he didn’t learn english til his twenties .

Nostromo is a reread for me I read it in my late teens about twenty years ago and like it but didn’t love the book ,but when I read the secret history of costaguna a book based on this book I was advised to reread this by Frank Wynne on twitter and I am pleased I choose to do so ,as the book seemed to have grown in 20 years I think as I m older and more cynical and less idealistic nowadays the book appeals more .So what is the book about well about a silver mine ,a revolution ,a mine owner and Nostromo the man who could save the day .The book shows what a melting pot small harbours where at these  times in latin America where at this time a mix of expatriates ,natives and sailors on shore leave add to a heavy brew the ownership of mine a coup in the air and a pile of silver ,the book moves at a rip-roaring pace you meet a myriad of interesting characters a lot you feel Conrad would have met on his travels when sailing .Nostromo is like some of the great figures from south american history a european that becomes drawn into the struggle for freedom .

In the time of Spanish rule ,and for many years afterwards ,the town of Sulaco – the luxuriant beauty of orange gardens bears witness to its antiquity – had never been commercially anything more important than a coasting port with a fairly large local trade in ox hides and indigo .

The opening lines of Nostromo describe the town of Sulaco .

The story is so modern I felt if you crossed the names and replaced with arabic names you could have the current situation in the arabic world or with african names it could be cotes d ivoire ,at thew heart of the book is greed and money who owns it for silver you could have oil or cocoa in its place .My edition was from Oxford world classics thanks to Kirsty and had a great appendix with loads of facts and explanations on words and sources for the story .As for th story of the silver mine I was reminded of a programme from the early nineties where the radio dj Andy Kershaw and singer Billy Bragg followed the south american silver trail ,at one point we were told there was enough silver mined in the 1800’s to build a silver bridge from south america to Spain .The book shows what greed and colonialism had done to south america using an imagined country was a good idea from Conrad as it could be any of the countries in South America over the late 1800’s to early 1900’s as they all became republics .This book made me think I should read some more classic books than I do .

Have you read this book ?

Have you reread a book and found it better with age on rereading ?

The hare with amber eyes by Edmund De Waal

There are occasions when you keep stumbling into a title hearing about here and there and maybe not having a inital spark to read it well this is one such book .In the period Just before christmas I heard Edmund on a radio and interviewed on the book show on sky arts ,and I warmed to this bio ? well it is a bio of the objects in it .Well Edmund De Waal is an English Ceramic artist that was train in Japan and winner of prizes for his ceramics , inherited a family collection of Nettsuke (craved ivory or bone pieces that were used to secure pouches from belts in 17th Japan )   from an uncle that he stayed with whilst he trained in his youth at the Mejiro studio in Tokyo .

So the book opens with Edmund getting these Nettsuke from His uncle Iggie a wonderful man he spent time with whilst training in Japan in his youth .He Knows A little of the 264 Nettsukes history from his uncle but decides to trace where they went and who owned them for the last 140 years from the 1870’s .He discovers the person that brought them a distant relative Charles Ephrussi a rich Jewish banker that lived in Paris .This man was in love with Japanese art that was the Vogue of the time ,Charles enjoyed connecting with people in the world of art and literature Knowing Proust Degas and Renoir .a man who lived comfortably but near the end of his time things were turning against the Jewish people in France ,the Nettsuke then move on to the turn of the century coffee houses society of Vienna This is the grand children of Charles story of vienna the rise of anti semitic feeling but also the blossoming of Vienna pre world war one with people like Freud and Klimt in the background .

In March 1899 , Charles’s generous wedding gift for Viktor and Emmy is carefully grated up and taken from the Avenue d’lena ,leaving the golden carpet ,the empire fauteulis and the Moreaus .It travels across Europe and is delivered to the Palais Ephrussi in Vienna on the corner of the Ringstrasse and the schottengasse .

The Nettsuke leave Charles possession the original owner and travel to Vienna to start a new tale .

the Nettsuke of the title

The book is full of love and insight into being Jewish in Europe at this time which Has been at times hard  the Nettsuke arrive in England Just before the war with Viktor then end up back home so to speak in Japan with Edmund uncle before arriving in his possession .Well what can I say about this book other than you should read it ,I was touch in many ways ,I always wonder what stories objects I ve been given via family have ,my grandfather was an Antique dealer and restorer so I grew up looking and sometimes touching unusual items like these nettsukes in this modern age the wonderment these intrigue items can give is pleasing I have a small craved elephant in ivory and its feel and look priceless objects like this are so rarely made nowadays but as De Waal testifies can over time and place produce wonderful stories . This book has a timeless feel even thou it has just been written which is a real achievement from a first time writer ,It also just won the Costa book prize for Biography ,which it richly deserved .

URN BURIAL BY SIR THOMAS BROWNE

source -review copy from New directions -this month

Sir Thomas Browne lived in Norwich and wrote on a myriad of subjects Medicine,geography ,Philosophy and Spirituality ,all during the English renaissance during the 17th century .His prose style influence both Jorge Luis Borges and W G Sebald .The book opens with a passage from Sebald’s rings of Saturn about Browne .

For Browne things  of this  kind ,unspoiled by the passage of time ,are symbols of indestructibility  of the human soul assured by scripture ,which the physician ,firm though may be in his christian faith ,perhaps secretly doubts ,and since the heaviest stone of melancholy .

Sebald on Browne’s view re the found urns mention in urn burial .

Urn Burial is a 86 page text from Thomas Brown ,that follows his reaction and musings on the meaning of some intact roman Burial urns that were found in Norwich ,so we go on a journey through Browne’s words from roman times and the reason for ashes in an urn ,things like a coin to pay your way to Elysian fields ,to Browne’s own time and how people celebrate remember and fear death .The prose drift here and their building up to last chapter a wonderful lament on life and death ,how every man has this struggle with his own mortality ,this last chapter is considered the greatest bit of renaissance writing and the beginning of essay and thesis writing in english .

Now since these dead bones have already out lasted the living ones of Methuselah ,and in a yard under ground and thin wall of clay ,outworn all the strong and specious buildings above it ; and quietly rested under the drums and trampling of three conquests ; what prince can promise such diuturnity unto his reliquesor might gladly say

sic ego componi versus in ossa velium .

The opening of chapter five of urn burial .

Now to be truthful I found this hugely touching and very deep piece I will definitely be reading more of Browne’s work and rereading this as I think I found a life long Passion in this man and his thoughts ,the link to Sebald and Borges is easy to see ,Brown darts and dash from here to there like the other two did in the later fiction ,it is like a child trying to take apart a clock picking at the workings ,this is how Browne tackles the discovery of these urns ,posing questions on them and trying to give us the reader the answer  .This is my first work by Brown for further reading and articles I strongly recommend going over to Kevin’s blog the aquarium of Vulcan where he has written numerous pieces on Sir Thomas Browne ,also his connections to Norwich and the surrounding area .so if you like Borges and Sebald I would try so Browne and see if you agree with me  on how this ,mans words influenced them .

have you read Browne ?

one last thought Borges on Browne

Well, I felt that I owed so much to Kafka that I really didn’t need to exist. But, really, I am merely a word for Chesterton, for Kafka, and Sir Thomas Browne- I love him. I translated him into seventeenth century Spanish and it worked very well. We took a chapter out of Urne Buriall and we did that into Quevado’s Spanish and it went very well- the same period, the same idea of writing Latin in a different language, writing Latin in English, writing Latin in Spanish.

The hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Well Halloween was wondering what to read and though oh I ll reread the Hound of the Baskervilles it is a short book and can be easily read in a day ,Now this was my first reread since my early twenties of this book ,I first read under the covers as a ten-year old ,this time I was struck by a number of things ,the cleverness of the writing using diary ,and telegrams as different chapters .The way Doyle built up the moor as a character in itself ,dark sorrowful and full of mystery .The other thing I had in my head was a spinning wheel of the versions of this book I ve seen on dvd and film from Basil Rathbone ,Peter Cushing ,Jeremy Brett and their sidekicks ,at different points in the book I had a different Holmes in my mind’s eye .one my favourite lines is .

why should a man walk on tiptoe down the alley ?

he was running ,watson -running desperately ,running for his life ,running until his heart burst and fell dead upon his face .

running from what ?

there lies our problem .there are indications that the man was crazed with fear before ever he began to run

how can you say that ?

I m not going to mention much on the story I think most people know the story SIR Charles Baskerville ,dies under strange circumstances ,his nephew comes to england ,there is a myth of an evil curse of a demon hound on the Baskerville family ,Watson goes the Baskerville seat in devon on the dark moors ,e

he meets the locals reports to Holmes ,then Holmes comes into the picture again and there is a shocking climax ! .Watson is the main character in most of this book ,he comes across as an able doctor ,a fairly observant man and a prefect sounding board for Holmes ,Watson’S view is very black and white he is the parts that Holmes character doesn’t have ,compassion ,able to interact with people more openly .well as ever I loved this book it is a true classic in crime lit and the best of the Holmes novels .Now as I said I imagined the different film versions ,I think the best of them is Jeremy BNretts it is in many ways nearest the novel ,but can recommend the Ian Richardson version as it has Brian Blessed ,doing what he does best shouting .

HAVE YOU READ THIS ?

DO YOU LIKE ANY OF THE FILM VERSIONS ?

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh is probably one of the best known writers of the first half of the twentith century ,he born in london ,his father was a editor and publicist he studied at oxford where he met henry green andbrian howard and numerous other of the leading lights of the bright young things ,he work as as journalist before the publication of this book his debut novel .

Decline and fall ,focuses on Paul Pennyfather ,he is the archtypical charcater of waugh’s book a man that studies at Oxford like waugh himself ,Pennyfather has a spot of trouble and is sent down from Oxford for indecnt behaviour ,unable to get any money from his family he has to go out in to the wide world and get a job ,this draws him to wales and a lowly public school as a master ,he arrives at the school and meets a wonderful cast of  misfits and rogues the are the masters of the school ,he has many mishaps at the school whilst ,on the sportsday he meets and v=eventually gets employed by the beautiful Margot Beste Chetwynde to teach her ,having accidently shoot someone on the sportsday a hasty retreat is required ,he falls for this glamorous women ,and wants to marry her ,but he dosen’t know she runs a high class brothel andthat is the source of her money .

Margot Beste -Chetwynde had two houses in england one in London and the other in Hampshire her London home was built in the reign of William and Mary ,was,by universal consent the most beautiful building between bond street and Park lane ,but opion divide on the subject of her country house this was very new indeed ,in fact it was scarcely finished when Paul went to stay there at the beginning of the easter holidays .

the opening of the second part of Decline and fall when Paul and Margot start to get together .

The book is still funny after all this time and has in the authour notes the restored words of Waugh please bear in mind it is meant to be funny ,penneyfather is like Jim Dixon thirties years before Amis wrote lucky Jim ,a bungler ,a man that falls from one diaster to the next ,it is also one of the best school comdies I ve read ,humour isn’t always the first think you think of when you think of Waugh ,shame he actually did it rather well .So if you want to spend a coup[le of days or a long evening having a good laugh and revisiting 20’s and the bright young things I recomend this book highly .

Party Going by Henry Green

SOURCE -LIBRARY

Henry green the non de plume of Henry Vincent Yorke  was one of the bright young things of the twenties ,he was born Tewksbury and went to Eton and Oxford he knew Anthony Powell and Evelyn Waugh his two great contemporaries of the time .and was considered a modernist writer along side Virginia Woolf ,frank Kermode describe the book as a mythical allusion .

The book centres on a group of the bright young things  as they are due to travel to a country house party all the rage them days ,but are delayed over night due to the london fog ,stopping the train and are confined to the nearest hotel ,the station hotel .so as the hotel fills we meet max and his beauty of an on off girlfriend the beautiful Anabella ,in no doubt based on one of the numerous beauties of the bright young thing era .,we also dash in and out of the servants as the dutifully look after the belonging of the party ,so over the space of the book and the next four hours we find out bits about the characters and there lives which on the surface seem rich and for-filled ,in fact aren’t that much .There lives being quite one dimensional party ,image and keeping up with the friends.

It did make Julia nervous and she moved to Alex where he happened to be teasing Angela because he might be nervous too which would comfort her .People who weren’t nervous were useless because they didn’t know what it meant ,but however he was ,and if he wasn’t than Julia felt she would like to make him be ,he would comfort her after all he was a man .

early on Julia and Max and the station

The is much humor in this book and also pathos for the characters as there obviously based on some of greens circle at the time ,the story does at time darts here and there and is quite hard to follow at times but it all adds to the hustle and bustle of the busy station ,on surface this is a great story ,whether Kerrmode’s was right about the links to Greek myths is right I can’t fully tell there are passages in this book that reminds me of what little I ve read of greek myths ,but I ve not the knowledge of greek myths to go in to full depth so as a story of four hours in a hectic station hotel as a group of characters in  the thirties it works for me the shallowness of the main characters is all to easy to see ,also how the people who deal with them I.E the servant struggle at times with their madness .A great read and there first of the three bright young thing books I ve chosen to read a review of Waugh decline and fall will follow .and a review of Anthony Powell very soon .

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