Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Positive comments

Something nice this time... sorry for sounding so sour the last time.

Well, actually, not so nice things. Maybe I'll get to them in the end. At least I'm listening to the wonderful "Intiaanidisko" by TV-Resistori - nothing can go wrong, if you listen to these guys and gals. (And the photos in the cover of the CD are taken by our very own Tero and Susanna! Hail the conquering heroes!)

But some items from today:

I was doing the index for "White Heat" and then I asked my editor some details and found out that I shouldn't have done it yet, but only after the layout was ready! AAAAAARGH! And it's such a boring job.

My back started suddenly to ache and I ordered time for massage. When I got ready to leave, I noticed that I had no money. Elina had nothing either. It started to rain like hell when I cycled first to the money machine and then to the massager. I was soaking wet when I got there. I sent Elina a text message with one word: FUCK. That's what I would've said if someone had been nearby.

Then I went to get the key to the cabin we are going to next weekend with Ottilia and couple of friends of ours. The guy from the journalists' union's office said he'll be there, but then the m**********r wasn't! The doors were closed, lights were out.

I decided to drop by a second hand book store I rarely visit. The store sells mostly porn on VHS and DVD, but they have some books. It seems someone has brought there the collection of a university scholar - there are lots of books about ecology, philosophy, anthropology etc, with the same signature in every book. It looks as if someone has died and the relatives have taken the books to the nearest book seller. As a result, they haven't got as much money as they would deserve.

Now I bought a book about Soviet art by John Berger and two Finnish books, Antero Järvinen's book about the cultural history of animals and Yrjö Hirn's "Island in the Ocean", the new edition to replace my old and rather crubby copy. It's a wonderful book about Robinson Crusoe, his ancestors and other relatives. It was published first in 1922 and is still one of the best literary studies made in Finland. I don't know whether it's been translated - it should be.

And then - sudden change of mood - I bought a hardcore sex Western novel by one John Savage. It's called "Ropes and Spurs" (1996) and it's a sadomasochistic novel set in a town somewhere in the Wild West. They find a canyon with a lost tribe that keeps its women tied all the time, just for the sake of being able to punish them all the time. Wild, huh? I just wonder if this John Savage is the same John Savage who wrote "A Shady Place to Die" for Dell in 1957. The Abebook seller says this:

"The only witness to the last of Mack Anderson was a lone coyote stalking the deserted cave. No one at the mining camp missed him. Who would have thought his deserted and abused wife would start looking for him now?"

I don't think so... Would you start writing hardcore porn after having written one novel 40 years ago? Maybe the man needed the money. There were other books of the same kind by Savage, so he must be churning these out by the dozen.

And then I got home, refreshed. It's always refreshing to buy porn paperbacks. The store was full of videos with women getting the creme on their face etc. The guy who runs it looks a bit sleazy. Your hands get tacky after a while and you have to get out. But I came out four books richer and only 12 euros poorer. That's not bad.

I've been forgetting to blog about books I've been buying. I went to a small book festival a week ago where the books cost only 2 euros each max. There was a bookseller with lots of English and American paperbacks for one euro each - but almost only writers like Margery Allingham! I managed to find these:

A.A. Fair: An Axe to Grind (these have been praised lately, so I decided to give them a try, hardboiled screwball comedy)
Wilkie Collins: The Moonstone
John D. MacDonald: One Monday We Killed Them All (I'm not very fond of JDM, as almost everyone else seems to be, but this has a catchy title)
Zane Grey: The Vanishing American (a Grey title that hasn't been translated)

Earlier I visited the book shop of Åbo Akademi, the Swedish-speaking university of Turku, where they sell the double copies of the books and books they don't need. I bought for 15 cents each:

Budd Schulberg: The Harder They Fall (the classic about boxing)
Calder Willingham: End as a Man
Gore Vidal: In a Yellow Mood (these two go for my future dissertation about noir in American literature..)
James Jones: The Thin Red Line (so does this)
Christopher Isherwood: Mr. Norris Changes Trains
James T. Farrell: Bernard Carr
Amos Tutuola: the Finnish translation of "The Palm Wine Drinkard" which is a great masterpiece, highly recommended
Alistair MacLean: Fear Is the Key (hardback, no DJ; we live in hard times when I get interested in Alistair MacLean; this one has a good title, though)
Bill Adler & Thomas Chastain: Who Killed the Robins Family? (paperback novel, written by pro Chastain from the plot made by Adler who won the publisher's contest - I don't know if there are many novels of this kind)

Enough for today... I also spent some time in Imdb looking for stuff on grade Z films. Let me get back on those after a while. And remind me that I make some remarks about reading Vathek by William Beckford.

5 comments:

Bill said...

Alistair MacLean was one of my favorites long ago, and I really liked Fear is the Key. I haven't read it in years, but I might just have to get out my copy and read it again.

jukkahoo said...

I devoured MacLean's when I was a wee one. I can't honestly say that I remember a great deal about them, Fear is the Key is Pelko on aseeni (a great title in Finnish, too!) and a quick googling reverals a oplot that I seem to vaaaaa-aguely remember.

My then favourites were some of the early stuff: HMS Ulysses (Saatue Murmanskiin), South by Java Head (Pako yli Jaavan meren), Night Withoput End (Loputon yö was probably the MacLean for me), Where Eagles Dare (Kotkat kuuntelelvat). I liked the motion picture versions of the books I liked, and vice versa, seemed to enjoy the films like the two Navarone-ones more than the actual books. Funny (funny how?) perhaps, but then again, I was quite young at the time. I think I haven't read a MacLean after my 16th birthday. Maybe I ought to? I have the Ian Stuart -ones I inherited from my grandma (one of my uncle's took the Alistair MacLean's, but left out Kalmankoura and Taivaan nuoli). The Satan Bug sounds rather fetching.

Sorry to hear about your bad day. I'm afraid the Kipling-incident must've felt like adding insult to injury.

Consider yourself to be reminded to make some remarks about reading Vathek by William Beckford (What! You haven't done that?).

jukkahoo said...

Auch! The number of tyop's in that one... Ah, and a totally butchered sentence which should've read: I didn't likethe motion picture versions of the books I'd liked, and vice versa, I seemed to enjoy some of the films (like the two Navarone-ones) more than the actual books.

Anonymous said...

I have just read John Savage "A Shady Place to Die" and I enjoyed it very much. It was an excellent thriller but with real characters written about in depth and sensitivity but in a turn-the-page-what-happens-next story. A very enjoyable read but other that pulpetti the (internet) trial seems to disappear on such an interesting author. I sure would like to read more. nscot@msn.com

Juri said...

Thanks for the reminder! It seems my point about Savage was rather sketchy. Will get back to you.