Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Princess comes back tomorrow

Apparently the weather will be stormy and windy and she flies in from Broome. She's been away on a 'school camp' but none of the school camps I've heard of involve a 3-week Kimberley experience where they live and work with local kids from Fitzroy Crossing and community areas up there.

Or is it over there?

They've been doing community projects (building a fire pit and a basket ball court) and working on a cattle station, learning about the local languages and flora/fauna and art. Swimming in water holes, tough life. Going to footy games, staying up til 'whenever' and lying around on the decking outside discussing different types of learning.

I haven't heard much from her about how it's been other than she's 'loving it' and 'doesn't want to come home'. But home she comes tomorrow and it will be a massive catch-up and I can't wait to hear it all.


Today I tried again to get my copy of Big Issue. Vendor wasn't in Acland Street either but I went into Readings to ask about him - Dennis is his name - and I accidentally bought two new books.

Fuck I just can't resist. It's like some compulsive addiction thing. Seriously.

I got a Dom de Lillo for cheap (hah just checked, DON) for $19.99 - Cosmopolis. It was the blurb that got me:

Eric Packer is a twenty-eight-year-old multi-billionaire asset manager. He lives in Manhattan. We join him on what will become a particularly eventful day in his life.

When he woke up, he didn't know what he wanted. Then he knew. He wanted to get a haircut.

As his stretch limousine moves across town, his world begins to fall apart. But more worrying than the loss of his fortune is the realization that his life may be under threat.

Now there are several things about this that I like, and one thing I don't.

I like the correct adjectival hyphenation in that first sentence.
I like that he's in Manhattan. It wouldn't be as attractive if it were, say, Auckland. No offence.
I like the bit about him not knowing what he wanted, and then knowing he wants a haircut.

I don't like that it's got Edward the Vampire on the cover (it's a movie, shit, why didn't I notice that before I bought it?)

But then the bit about the potential loss of his fortune and the life under threat bit, hmmm. Is it going to spin off into freak-out territory with over-dramatic plot twists? (I hope not) or is it him descending into some drug-induced paranoia or psychosis? (I like this idea much much better.)

We shall see.


The other one is The Memory of Salt by Alice Melike √úlgezer.

This has:

A beautiful cover
A blurb that gets me in but not for the details or storyline, for the fact it's got Turkish characters in it
Her middle name - Melike - is one of my Princess's names (Princess has many names and there was a rumour at her school in Year 7 that she was a Turkish princess. She is half Turkish but not a real princess, just a pretend one on here.)
It's got a circus in it
It's got Australian outback in it, so it's a melange of different settings: Kabul, Melbourne, Aus outback, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, London.

I have to see how this is done. I'm half scared it will be fantastic, half scared it won't.

Again, we shall see.


Anonymous said...

Keen to hear what you think of both books.
I've read the DeLillo [my first] & really admired the taught syntax. The length meant that it didn't risk outstaying its welcome as well.

elaine said...

I also loved the DeLillo. I have been intermittently slogging away at his Underworld for a few *cough* years *cough* (I find the American-ness of the cultural references difficult)

Did you know that R-Patz is starring in the the Cronenberg film adaptation of Cosmopolis (due out soon or recently opened). I wonder if he'll do it justice.

Melba said...

Yeah I saw that Edward the vamp is on the cover, Elaine. And hi!

I started reading it this morning, yes taught is the word James. Looking forward to putting a couple of hours into it tonight, should be able to knock it over. Already am very impressed by his clean prose.

Anonymous said...

Is it going to spin off into freak-out territory with over-dramatic plot twists? (I hope not)

I too am fed up with dramatic plot twists. I get a sense that a lot of writers (particularly sci-fi/fantasy/etc(genre?) writers) have this idea in their head that dramatic plot twists are wonderful things that you have to be a bad writer to stuff up. I think the opposite is true. Dramatic twists are cheap and crappy by default and you have to be really, really clever to make them work -- and your story really has to be constructed in a way that warrants it. My favourite type of twists are the not-so-dramatic ones that happen so naturally and gradually within the story that you don't even realise they're happening - because, y'know, that is the story.

And then there's the topic of cross-media adaptations. sheesh.

How was P when she got home? Any good stories? How are things up in that part of WA these days? (I guess I think it's up too)

Melba said...

I'm very embarrassed. I wrote taught instead of taut.

Alex, agree absolutely about the plot twists, can be really annoying. I too prefer something less startling and more organic.

In other news: P is back. They all ran a little wild, got into trouble with lots of hijinks, had such a good time, didn't want to come back but was full of stories. She now intends to go work as a jillaroo on the cattle station up there after Year 12. She also made close fast friends with the local kids, learned so much about their culture and connection to the land and all that stuff. Lucky lucky girl.

She preg-tested a cow, twice. Shoved her arm all the way in (with a big glove on it up to the armpit). This meant last night, at dinner, with my mother, we were discussing *why* it was up the cow's anus rather than vagina, we worked out you wouldn't be able to feel the calf's head through the cervix but maybe through the wall of the anus you could... then P said 'I wouldn't want to put my hand up a cow's vagina though' and I said 'why not' and she said 'because then it's like having sex with the cow' and I said 'yeah, but you already had anal sex with the cow' and then we all laughed, including my mother, who managed to look scandalised at the same time.

P loved working with the cattle, manning the gate thingy that she had to shut really quickly to stop them going too fast etc.

They just had a great great time.

Melba said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Sounds wonderful. I hope she has just as good a time if/when she goes back. I know some people from the city start feeling the isolation after a few months; but then again, with email, skype, twit-book and all the rest of it nowadays, it might not be so bad. Provided you have access to all that, of course.

I like the dinner-time conversation story -- especially thinking about three generations of women being able to joke about something like that without anyone getting embarrassed or uncomfortable. Very cool. Also, I think about the only time you should have to stick your arm into a cow's vagina is if you're trying to turn a calf that's decided to try and come out the wrong way. It can be pretty traumatic. Personally, I've had a lot more experience with sheep, but Nomesy (Looksee(EMS)) should know all about it, wha' wi' comin' offa dairy 'n'at.