pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

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Cleaning Out the Closet

I didn't even get down one layer... I hit a pile of enticing, but unread, books.

Oh, boy!  They were SOOOO old that they were still correctly spelled, punctuated, and ERUDITE.  GENERAL FICTION.

First, I grabbed The Far Arena.  (1978; Richard Ben Sapir)  A Roman gladiator was unfrozen from the Arctic AND LIVED.  They aren't sure he is not spinning them a tall one, and in the course of proving it, the huge cultural gap swallowed them.  The science explaining what happened was pretty laughable, but if you grant the major premise, it was a roaring good read.  I marked vocabulary words in it.  I checked historic events in it.  What a joy!

Then, I glommed onto Erich Segal's The Class (1985); about five 1958 graduates of Harvard, filled with well-used poetry and many beautiful turn of phrases.  I remembered him as sort of sappy, (Love Story, Oliver's Story) But this one dealt with the classics, much quoting in Latin and Greek (fortunately, translated…)  Generally, poetry quoted in stories just does not hit my sweet spot.  (Well, Sheakspeare's got some I can quote, and other classic ANCIENTS in English).

I even like one silly poem attributed to Rudyard Kippling that I hit in a SCOTTISH detective story, Deep and Crisp and Even by Peter Turnbull, (1982), the first one in an ongoing detective story I heard favorably reviewed somewhere and ordered back in January.  I've been keeping track of odd Scottish words, schemes (back streets), patch, which I think is slang for a policeman's beat.  The cultural depiction is every bit as interesting as the actual crime solving to me.  (Yes, we DO have a Maclean line back there, and some relatives that were Campbells.  Some of the Macleans used to visit Biloxi/Ocean Springs when all that generation were younger folks.  Since they were from Canada, that is probably as responsible for the closeness as anything.  They were a hoot.)
Tags: reading

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