I’ve just finished reading and enjoying another book lifted at random off the shelves. It has certainly been there a long time. I must have bought it from the second-hand shop in Xania all of fifteen years ago because I see the price was 400drachma. Not exactly in the mainstream of literature, but certainly written with style and in its quirky way a definite page-turner and quite brilliant, the book is “Cutter and Bone” by Newton Thornburg, made into a film in 1981 under the title ‘Cutter’s Way.’ There is no information about the author on the book cover so I looked him up on Google and found he had written a number of novels ‘Gentleman Born’ ‘Knockout’ ‘To Die in California’ ‘Black Angus’ ‘Valhalla’ ‘Dreamland’ ‘The Lion at the Door’ ‘a Man’s Game’ ‘Eve’s men’ and ‘Beautiful Kate’ also made into a film. He died May 2011. If I come across any of his other writing I would certainly look forward to reading it though it would need to come to me as, at the moment, we are not in any position to splash out on books. Bone is a fairly standard American dropout from the rat-race but Cutter is a great character – a one legged, one arm, one eye survivor from Vietnam with a great line in wry humour and vindictiveness.
And while on the subject of books – my Gothic thriller ‘The Museum Mysteries’ is now available on Amazon should anyone (I hope) be interested. Together with the Novella are a number of short stories one of which, ‘An Alternative Christmas Carol’ is one of my favourites bits of writing but will no doubt cause a stamping of irate feet in certain quarters.
Proofing is without doubt one of the most difficult jobs in the world. Both Douglas and I went over the manuscript a dozen times with a fine tooth comb but sure as god made little green apples there is at least two typos still in existence and I only discovered that because I opened the book at random and on page 166 I find “For a moment she stropped chewing as she hastily crossed herself.” Now how on earth did that one escape when now without a second glance it immediately leapt screaming off the page? It really is bloody annoying. I wonder how many more were missed.
I came across only two in Cutter and Bone which is pretty good going these days as even books from major publishers tend to be riddled with mistakes. Ah well, too late to do anything about it now. Just got to live with it I guess.
Language is strange though don’t you think? When you consider there are an estimated 7000 spoken around the world. 2200 can be found in Asia while Europe has 260. How varied can human expression be? Once you’ve got over the biggies; English, French, Italian, German, Greek, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish and four or five Eastern European languages that still leaves about 240. Could you name them? I’m buggered if I can.