Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ooh Child, Ah Just Lurve The Lady Chablis!

The Lady Chablis – what a character. Only she isn’t a character, and she isn’t a she! Chablis is just one of the wonderful people that John Berendt met whilst living in Savannah. She is a beautiful black drag queen, still with her male accompaniments, but lives as a woman and even has a good looking young white boyfriend (eek!). She is outrageous and socially dangerous if you spurn her. Berendt enjoys her banter but not when she gatecrashes a black Debutante ball where he is the only white invitee. The results are absolutely hilarious.

Another character I love is the eccentric Minerva who is doing everything within her voodoo power to help Jim Williams who has been convicted of murder after a second trial. Hiding behind her purple glasses and carrying graveyard dirt (which she takes from the graveyard at midnight and carries in her trademark shopping bag) she leaves twigs and roots in the courtroom and claims that a long dead Delia still has some work to do on the D.A! A great collection of unforgettable people, no wonder this book was on the New York Times best seller list for 216 weeks.

I finished a Tranquil Star, but I didn’t enjoy this selection of short stories as much as I had anticipated I would. I think it was the beautiful title that attracted me, but the selection of stories were just too weird. I almost laugh at myself when I say this, as I love weird fiction but I just could not relate to these at all. There is one story about a kangaroo that attends a buffet and it was absolutely ridiculous………I’ll review this for the newsletter so won’t say too much here. It was well written, and I did like some of the stories but I think that they would be more of interest to people who know of Levi and his past work.

Talking of weird fiction, I also finished Button, Button by Richard Matheson which is definitely more along my lines, though I must admit I didn’t ‘get’ some of the stories. The creepiest, and one of the best, was in poem format and was called The Jazz Machine. A white guy develops a machine that can translate the emotion of Jazz. He invites a black musician to give it ago, but after being shown a demonstration the musician is horrified and smashes the machine to pieces. He says:

“……….Take everything you want, man
You will because you have
But don’t come scuffling for our souls”.

Powerful stuff, though Pattern for Survival was the best of the lot in my opinion because it was cleverly constructed.

Still listening to Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire, it’s like going home every time I switch it on.

I need to start hunting for some more reading material. I’ll get cracking with the Time Traveller’s Wife now as I’ve only done a few chapters so far and I think my next audio after Harry Potter will be the End of Mr Y by Scarlett Thomas.

I'm off to do some ‘twittering’ now to try and promote the book club.

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