Friday, December 24, 2010

That's the true spirit of Christmas; people being helped by people other than me.

Clouds of DOOM appear in the east. New Town, December 2010.

I’ve read a couple in the past week. The first, A Rumour of War is an autobiography/war memoir by Philip Caputo about his experience in the United States Marine Corps in the early years of American involvement in the Vietnam War.

Caputo does an excellent job rendering the gravity, tragedy and absurdist nature of warfare. This is one of the better of the type that I have read. Caputo’s greatest success is the ease with which he constructs a narrative that really does elucidate the confluence of rigorous training, demanding circumstances and external pressure that leads the reader to contemplate how they might act in similar conditions.

In this way, the comfortable self-assurance of one’s own moral safety net is not quite so secure. This is not so much a polemic as it is a plea. Very much worth the effort, although it’s intensity is rather draining.

The second is Screwtop Thompson, a collection of short stories by one of my favourite authors, Magnus Mills. The trouble with this book is that most of the short stories have been released before. In fact, of the ten in this one, I have already read seven.

The new ones are (as expected) very good, but I will admit to being a little bit disappointed by the false advertising of “a new collection”…


James Mark said...

Thanks for calling in to JorvikDP and leaving your greetings. Best wishes to you and yours too.

Youth_in_Asia said...

Happy Holidays to you as well! Thanks for dropping by.

kylie said...

i hope you and your mob have a great christmas

Roddy said...

I can't be there tomorrow so hugs and kisses to the people who matter most in my life. Children, grandchildren, family. Hugs and kisses for all.
And to all Kris's blog mates. Merry Christmas.

Kris said...

James, I hope all went well at your end.

YiA, thanks!

Kylie, it wasn't too bad. Lots of grizzling. I hope yours featured a little less.

Roddy, oops.