Wednesday, February 17, 2010


I don't like figure skating. I have a difficult time assessing whether this is a real sport or not. My wife likes figure skating. She has no problem in assessing whether it is a sport or not. I was watching the Olympic hockey game last night and turning it over to figure skating during the intermissions, she was pleased---we do have another TV, but it is downstairs in the den and is too far away. The third period was coming on---real soon!---and she got up to go to the kitchen while this blonde-haired Swedish dude was doing pretzels on the ice. I switched it over to the hockey game. When she returned from the kitchen, she looked at me and asked me if the guy had finished? I said, "Oh yeah, he did a triple clutch on a broken axel followed by an inverted cowtao. 'Well done', they all said." She laughed, but I know she was waiting for the game to end. The Olympics are great---some of them.

This is interesting: My wife is reading Linden MacIntyre's THE BISHOP'S MAN and she pointed out something to me about the cover. First I have to tell you that my wife has excellent concentration and powers of observation. It amazes me always. When I'm around people I seem to always check to see who they are and what they are doing, but that's just my natural paranoia---checking to see if everything is safe. But she seems to see everything---signs, colours, directions, obstacles. She even overhears snippets of conversations. Amazing! At a concert let's say, I'll say to her that maybe we should go in now, and she will say no we can't because the couple we just walked past were talking and said the doors aren't opening for another hour. Amazing! I think a lot of people don't have an acute sense of observation anymore. Maybe people feel too safe.

Anyway, my wife took the book---THE BISHOP'S MAN--- over to me and pointed out the picture on the cover. The picture is of a rather tall man looking out over the ocean. The problem is the man's body is distorted. He's too tall with rather a smallish head. She said the cover has bothered her since she got the book, and it's true that the picture is distorted. I also noticed that the horizon is not straight. I've stood on many a beach looking out at the ocean and the horizon was always straight, except for those occasional times when my brain was chemically altered, but that was during the wild times and not to be mentioned in detail here---or anywhere for that matter. So I was thinking that the designer of the cover was making a statement about the Bishop, probably. You know, this religious man is out of sync with the world; distorted image of the world and his awkward position in it; bishops are aliens?; the ocean's blue?, I don't know.

I really don't know what my wife thinks of the book since she hasn't finished it yet, but she does complain about the writing, I know that. She says it reads like a journalistic composition trying to sound like a literary novel. That was a good critique, I liked that. She cited the lead sentence in chapter 2: "The sun was slow in '94." We both laughed. The sun is hot, the sun is bright, the sun will not come out tonight. I'll see what she says about the novel when she finishes. I'm not going to read it.

The other book written by a local author is CAPTAIN ALEX MacLEAN by Don MacGillivray. This book actually cost be about $80, no kidding. I love books about the sea, and this one focused around a character (Captain Alex MacLean) who was the inspiration for Jack London's SEA WOLF. Jack London was and probably still is one of my favourite writers. I've read a lot of London. I debated for a long time whether I should buy this book because the price was well out of reach. But my wife got some Chapter's gift certificates, gave them to me, and encouraged me to go and buy the book. I did. I have no idea why it was so expensive. I was terribly disappointed in this book. It was well researched, well written fo the most part, but it read like a University thesis. Everything said about the main character (Alex MacLean) was in quotes with footnotes to boot. You did not get a feel for this character, or even care about him after awhile. Too bad. And too bad I had to spend so much money for it. I have it here and if anybody wants it, you can have it.

Next: I think I said Historical fiction, but I think I want to discuss Histories or historical non-fiction books.

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