some books & a discovery

My longtime readers (all 2 of you) will know that I am a major Douglas Adams fan, can pretty much recite the books (thanks to listening to them on audio so many times) and never pass up a chance to work a reference to them into everything I write. I know because I am an American, there are bits & pieces of things I still don’t catch in them; references to things that I am simply not going to catch because of my nationality & my age. So I am always pleased when i find one. In his book “The Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul”, Kate visits a mental hospital called The Woodshead, while looking for Thor. There is a line in there, that when I read it, means nothing, but I’ve always thought it was given some emphasis on the audio version. Given that Douglas Adams himself is the narrator, I’ve long suspected I was missing something. The line is “I don’t want to see anything along the ‘Something Nasty in the Woodshead’ business, being repeated”. The speaker is referring to some unfortunate recent publicity. But I’ve recently come across a book of that title. The book was written in the late 70’s and is 3rd in a crime/comedy-noir series, that apparently was a cult classic in Britain. It may be nothing, but given that I have always thought there was an unnecessary to the plot emphasis given to that line by Adams in the audio version, I really wonder if he named the place that just to be able to refer to the book. Which is something I can totally imagine him doing.

Being the orderly person I am, I cannot just read that book. I have to read the first 2 first. They are Don’t Point That Thing at Me and After You with the Pistol. I have them on audio and am listening to the 1st one. I am enjoying it, but I think perhaps I might be better off reading it. I felt that way about Jasper Fforde’s books in the beginning as well but ended up listening to 4 out of 6 of them before ever reading one and loved them all. It’s mostly a matter of pacing. The book itself moves along well but the narrator does not.

I have that problem with things by Frances Mayes too. Under the Tuscan Sun was a great read and I suspect A Year in the World is as well. But they are both read by her on my audio versions and the pacing just kills me. She is a poet and she reads her prose
as if
with endless meaningful pauses. I haven’t finished Year yet. I get bored with it and it makes me sleepy because she has this soft, melodic voice (great for poetry, not so much for prose) A friend of mine apparently has a version of Year that is read by someone else because she said the pacing was very good on hers. Under the Tuscan Sun was ok with pacing but really should have had the recipes abridged out of it.

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