Friday, January 14, 2011

As soon as liberty is complete, it dies in anarchy.

Calverts Beach, oh Calverts Beach, I still hear your sea winds blowin'… Calverts Beach, South Arm. December 2010.

We discoverd a new beach (for us) a couple of weeks back: Calverts Beach, which is down off the beaten track on the South Arm Peninsula. If it ever spots raining, we might get down there again soon!

Panorama of Calverts Beach. Calverts Beach, South Arm. December 2010.

But today isn't Friday BEACH Club, and I am meant to be talking books. The past week saw me finish We can remember it for you wholesale, which is volume five of Philip K. Dick’s collected short stories,

Do you like science fiction? If so, this collection has science fiction leaking out of every pore. As a (very) casual reader of science fiction, I found this collection somewhat uneven. Some of the stories are great, many so-so. One thing that you can be guaranteed, Mr Dick had an almighty imagination…

The other book I read this week was The Takeover by Muriel Spark. As ever, Spark manages to construct an array of odd and intriguing characters. Set amongst a group of wealthy expatriates (and locals) in Italy through the 1970s, once again Spark explores the clash of modernity with ‘traditional’ values, and the pernicious influence of money.

In all, it’s a breezy tale of the undeserving, complacent rich being ripped-off by chancers. As one might expect, every character is free of any authentic moral framework. A decent read, but when all of the characters are so unlikable, it didn’t really grab me.

Calverts Beach, oh Calverts Beach, I still hear your sea waves crashing… Calverts Beach, South Arm. December 2010.

One thing that did grab me though was the description of a particular character (a real specialty of Spark's), as it adequately sums up a lot of people I've met in life, so I wanted to share it with you:
As a specimen, Letizia at eighteen was rounded-off and complete; the finishing touches were already put, there was no room for further contention between character and contours, there was scope only, now, for wear and tear. She was much as she would be, she though much as she would think, and looked not much different from what she would look, at forty-eight.

1 comment:

Kris said...

People don’t like the book reviews, or the beach!