Monday, August 16, 2010

Would You Go Out of Your Way to Read a Cursed Book?

I’m rather annoyed at myself today.  I really wish I would take more care when selecting audio books from the library and make sure that they are the unabridged books and not the radio plays.

I have listened to some excellent radio plays, the BBC’s are unbeatable.  Solaris was amazing, with a wonderful score.  The Kraken Wakes was another notable one, and the brilliant Woman in White with it’s original haunting musical score.  I don’t complain about any of these but I can’t tick them off my list if they are plays!!  I started listening to The Time Machine and the fact that it was only three discs should have alerted me………  oh well, I will listen to it at some stage but I really wanted the book. 

So..... I started listening to the End of Mr Y instead by Scarlett Thomas. So far I am LOVING IT (although it does contain a bit of swearing and for some bizarre reason it’s offending me slightly.  Now I’m no prude, I read Clive Barker and Stephen King for God’s sake and they’re full of expletives.  I think the reason is it’s a very English female narrator and it just doesn’t sound right rolling off her tongue!).

The story is told by Ariel Manto who is doing a PHD at University.  On the day that we meet her The Newton Building on the campus has collapsed into a disused tunnel.  Unable to collect her car due to the dangers of further collapse she must take the bus or walk.  Opting to walk she pops into a second hand book shop on her way home and discovers a rare copy of The End of Mr Y by Thomas Lumas, a nineteenth century writer she has been studying.  The book apparently is cursed and whoever has read the book has disappeared, including Lumas himself.  It might seem that her mentor has read it too as he disappeared a week after she started her PHD (which he had talked her into). She reads the preface of this book, and it asks the reader to consider the work as a piece of fiction only… which has got Ariel intrigued.  So far she has just flicked through the book and noticed that one of the pages has been torn out........

In The Book of The Dead, we’ve had a rather nasty killing in the museum.  Two people went missing – the computer whiz and his offsider who were setting up the special effects for the Tomb of Senef Exhibition.  The offsider was found in the sarcophagus, ripped open with his entrails dumped unceremoniously into a couple of large canopic jars.  After sealing off parts of the museum the ‘murderer’ was apprehended, naked and covered in blood.  However once the blood was wiped away from his face – shock, horror, gasp - it 's the computer whiz. This is quite good fun!

Poor Lovecraft has taken a backseat.  His is my lunch break book and I haven't really had time for a proper break recently.

Talking of lunch breaks though, on Wednesday I have been invited to a Luncheon (through work) at the Hilton Hotel!  It's an industry thing BUT the food should be really good.  It will be nice to get out of the office for a change.

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