September 22, 2005

Back from our holidays in "fairytale" Cornwall - St. Ives, to be precise.

We (ElshaUk, the Father and Stepmother-In-Law) spent a glorious seven days pottering around Cornwall, seeing sights and drinking copious amounts of Tribute Ale whilst enjoying ourselves immensely. We've been there before, once again with them, a couple of years ago so this holiday was a more sedantry affair. Neither rushed to see all the sights nor many a shopping trip in the local towns, this time we spent the holiday as it should be - slowly unwinding.

Illness-wise, I am feeling much better. No longer on antibiotics or creams [touch wood] I am up for work tomorrow, well actually today in about 8 hours. I dread to think what my workmates and manager have been up to whilst I have been away, but I'm sure I won't be surprised by their stupidity when I get to work.

I am still looking for a new job. This has been a cause for concern to me as I am coming up to the 5th anniversary of my current position. This means that instead of the usual 4 weeks of notice, I must now give 5 - meaning extricating myself from work will be that much harder. Still, I am insistant that I remove myself from my work place. No more shall I be made to suffer the indignity of working for sheer incompetant managers that pay themselves about £15k more than me whilst making me do all the hard work.

Unfortunately, 3 days into my holiday in Cornwall and mainly caused by severe bouts of insomnia, I read straight through the two books I mentioned in my previous post and ElshaUK made me buy another book I had taken an interest to in a local bookshop - Johnathan strange & Mr. Norrell. This is one of those books that turns you into a compulsive obsessive; every day you will force yourself to read more of it and to ponder on the meaning of every chapter.

The story is set in a fictional alternate world of the 1800's where Magic actually exists. Not the magic of Dungeons & Dragons nor that of Paul Daniels but the other-worldly magic long since forgotten by adults - the Fairy-tale magic of old. The plot revolves around two gentlemen magicians - Johnathan Strange and, of course, his one-time tutor, Mr. Norrell and their attempts to revive English Magic from centuries old neglect.

One quote from the book is:

‘“Can a magician kill a man by magic?” Lord Wellington asked Strange. Strange frowned. He seemed to dislike the question. “I suppose a magician might,” he admitted, “but a gentleman never could”’ (p.304).

This book is up there with Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien but is more similar to the writings of E.R. Eddison's "The Worm Ouroborous" - a long-since forgotten contemporary of Tolkiens. Apparently it took the author, Susanna Clarke 10 years to pen it.

If you read one book this year, read this one!

3 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Elsha said...

I will read the darn thing, as soon as you've finished!

SwissToni said...

that's a great book - really substantial. I agree with the Tolkien comparison in that she has conjured up a world that seems complete in every detail - in the same way that Tolkien created Middle Earth, and its mythologies and languages and so on.

Excellent book.

You see.... nothing wrong with your bookshelves, my friend.

ST