Smakebit på en søndag: Ned til hundene

helle_hundeneSøndag var jeg på Bogforum – bokmesse i Forum i København. Helle Helle var der og snakket om sin siste bok, men akkurat det prioriterte jeg bort (det var så mye annet som foregikk, og vi skulle jo se på standene også). Det angrer jeg litt på nå som jeg har begynt å lese Ned til hundene, for jeg skule gjerne vist om hun snakker like gripende som hun skriver. Forhåpentligvis får jeg en ny sjanse til å høre henne snakke en annen gang.

Jeg hadde ikke engang lest en hel side i denne boken før jeg måtte grave etter blyant i sekken for å markere minneverdige setninger. Her kommer de første jeg markerte, som faktisk er åpningslinjene i boken:

Jeg leder efter et godt sted at græde. Det er slet ikke let at finde sådan et sted. Jeg har kørt rundt i bus i flere timer, nu sidder jeg på en vakkelvorn bænk helt ude ved kysten. Her er der ingen færger. Kun en pram, der fragter kreaturer frem og tilbage til en ubeboet ø.

Flere smakebiter finner du på Flukten fra virkeligheten.

Well said

Last year Shaun Tan won, which made me feel that the award was going to the best people. With a longlist of 184 people I feel less like I’m in competition for an award and more like I’ve been told I’m part of a club of people who’ve been doing the right thing.

Making fiction for children, making books for children, isn’t something you do for money. It’s something you do because what children read and learn and see and take in changes them and forms them, and they make the future. They make the world we’re going to wind up in, the world that will be here when we’re gone.

Neil Gaiman – on being on the longlist for the Astrid Lindgren Award longlist.

Smakebit på søndag: Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter


I’m late, but I am reading Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, and I’m rather enjoying it, too. Writeup hopefully in the next few days, in the meantime, here’s a quote, as an entry in Mari’s Smakebit på søndag round.

I asked the bank clerk to summon my brother Juan, and surprisingly (since I’d never had any brothers), he came and told me, by way of the kindly voice of the medium, not to worry about him, because he was with God, and that he prayed continually for me. Reassured by this bit of news, I lost interest in the séance and occupied myself mentally writing my story about the senator.

Since I’ve got the Kindle edition I have no idea what page that is on, I’m afraid.

En smakebit på søndag: The Last Dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

I finished with Jack and Stephen Friday evening and started The Last Dragonslayer immediately, even though it was really time for bed already. I read one chapter and realised I really didn’t want to put it down. Ten years ago I would probably have finished it that night, but then I didn’t have someone who’d wake me demanding breakfast in the morning (and since the husband was working Saturday, it would be me she’d demand breakfast from).

Anyway, here’s a quote:

Tiger was staring thoughtfully at Prince Nasil, the carpet and the Yummy-Flakes box. Mystical Arts was a strange industry to work in and was much like a string of bizarre occurences occasionally interspersed with moments of great triumph and numbing terror. There was boredom, too. Watching wizards build up to a spell is like watching paint dry. It can take some getting used to.

En smakebit på søndag – a taster on Sunday – is an initiative from Mari at Flukten fra virkeligheten.

Smakebit på en søndag: The Thirteen-Gun Salute

Since it’s time for another Smakebit – a “taster” – (though I skipped a week) here’s another Jack quote:

‘Why, Stephen, some people are in a hurry: men-of-war, for instance. It is no good carrying your pig to market and finding…’ He paused, frowning.

‘It will not drink?’

‘No, it ain’t that neither.’

‘That there are no pokes to be had?’

‘Oh well, be damned to literary airs and graces’

Page 114 in The Thirteen-Gun Salute by Patrick O’Brian.


Jack Aubrey quotes

I never manage to say anything very sensible about the Aubrey/Maturin books except that I love them to bits. One of the very many reasons I love them is Jack Aubrey’s way with words. Or lack of way with words, more accurately. He can turn any perfectly well known idiom or proverb into something quite delightfully ridiculous.

For example:

It will not do to meddle with him. He is the kind of lamb that lies down with the lion, in wolf’s clothing.

From The Letter of Marque, page 134. And from HMS Surprise, page 157:

‘It is not what you would call handsome,’ said Jack laughing, ‘but a bird in the hand is worth any amount of beating about the bush, don’t you agree?’

And this exchange between Jack and Stephen in The Far Side of the World (Jack being the first speaker), page 106:

‘It was the strangest experience: there he was, telling me things to my face as though he were invisible, while I could see him as plain as…’
‘The ace of spades?’
‘No. Not quite that. As plain as… God damn it. As plain as the palm of my hand? A turnpike?’
‘As Salisbury Sphere? As a red herring?’
‘Perhaps so.’

And later in the same novel, at page 293:

‘That would be locking the horse after the stable door is gone, a very foolish thing to do.’

Indeed. Again at page 306:

‘Only this morning I was thinking how right they were to say it was better to be a dead horse than a live lion.’ He gazed out of the scuttle, obviously going over the words in his mind. ‘No. I mean better to flog a dead horse than a live lion.’
‘I quite agree.’ [Stephen]
‘Yet even that’s not quite right, neither. I know there is a dead horse in it somewhere; but I am afraid I’m brought by the lee this time, though I rather pride myself on proverbs, bringing them in aptly, you know, and to the point.’
‘Never distress yourself, brother; there is no mistake I am sure. It is a valuable saying, and one that admonishes us never to underestimate our enemy, for whereas flogging a dead horse is child’s play, doing the same to a lion is potentially dangerous, even though one may take a long spoon.’

Stephen is quite as bad as Jack when he tries to use nautical expressions, otherwise he spends a bit of time confusing his friend further unless he is in a particularly amiable mood (as he is in that last exchange). Though how you’d bring a long spoon to flogging a live lion, I’m not so sure…

En smakebit på søndag #1

fortuneWell, ok, Tuesday. As challenged by Mari at Flukten fra virkeligheten – and on – here is a quote from my current read, The Fortune of War by Patrick O’Brian:

Though they liked the notion of prize-money, they could not see much sense in fighting the Americans: there were half a dozen Americans aboard at this moment, and they were practically the same as Englishmen – no airs or graces about them – and you could not say fairer than that. Fighting the French was different; they were foreigners, and somehow it came natural.

Yes, I’m at it again. So now you know what I’m reading this month or so.