Saturday, 27 November 2010

Blessed Bibliothecaries, Batman!

I'm still working my way through Chekhov's short stories. Rewarding, but sometimes he spends ages and ages dwelling on the depressing quandary being endured by the central protagonist. For Chekhov, a short story can be anywhere between three pages or a hundred.
Otherwise I been reading:
Further volumes of Spike Milligan's war memoirs, reaching the point where he is invalided out of combat duties because of battle fatigue: Rommel? Gunner Who?; Monty: His Part in My Victory; Mussolini: His Part in My Downfall. The next three volumes are on the shelf awaiting reading.
A couple of crime thrillers by Kate Atkinson:
Case Histories and Started Early, Took My Dog. Atkinson has the knack of keeping you hooked and her books are best enjoyed in one or two sittings. She weaves together a number of threads to get you guessing and then throws in a surprise. But things get sorted out in the end. I expect her books will be turned into a TV series - they feature an inept, down-at-heel but likeable investigator who 'does the right thing'. A good character on which to hang a TV show.
The Cyprus Conspiracy by Brendan O'Malley and Ian Craig, in which they set out in some detail the skullduggery of Henry Kissinger and the CIA (sometimes in conflict with one another); the duplicitous opportunism of the Turks; the pompous ineffectiveness of the British; and the corruption of the Greek Junta. All of which led to the invasion, occupation and partitioning of Cyprus in 1974. Basically, Kissinger is to blame. (Note: Funny old world part 237: Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973 - he secretly negotiated the withdrawal of American troops from Viet Nam, but that's another story).

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