Monday, 24 September 2012

Every hour wounds. The last one kills.

It's been a bit grim with the post titles lately huh? But I assure you, this one's merely for effect. It's out of American Gods. Chapter 3 as a matter of fact. :) I'm following what turned out to be an awesome suggestion to follow a re-read of Neil Gaiman here.

I've got to say, the Kindle has lit something of a fire under my reading lately. But to trace back the last few books would quite neatly follow my path from the boat back home. It was, by no means, as simple as that sounds!

The last few days of the trip were spent recovering what gear we had out and heading into Peterhead for crew change. In case that doesn't sound a bit out of place, let me clarify. The only reason we spent days out on the back deck doing that, was because there was no way we could get anyone on or off the boat at sea. Yes, it's the North Sea. Things like that happen a lot out there!

Of course, seeing how the cold was beyond anything I'd ever felt before on a boat, getting kitted out for twelve hours on the back deck starting at midnight was, well, interesting. Too bad I was too busy freezing my ass off to gather any entertaining evidence. Coraline seemed to fit right in with the cold and often cloudy and foggy scheme of things in general. (I had to occasionally remind myself that this was a children's book though.)

Seeing how we were supposed to be heading home, none of that seemed too big of an ask. Unfortunately, I wasn't really sure if I'd be going or staying. (A wayward wood chopper was to blame, and sundry paperwork. But mostly the wood chopper.) So I packed anyway. And crossed my fingers and toes. Even some other peoples' fingers, when I could get them to feel sorry enough. :P

There was even a short and rather happy (and consequently, headache inducing) encounter with what passes for a Scottish town once we made it to port. Then, come crew change day, I was told I could indeed head home! Ha! Best bus-ride ever! The one from Peterhead down to Dyce airport near Aberdeen! The sun was shining, light white clouds scudded past the blue sky! Of course that wasn't going to last.

I made one flight in peace. Finished up with the Gaiman. Then as I was wondering where to go next with the reading while wandering down Heathrow's Terminal 5 towards my gate, the dreaded announcement greeted me. Our aircraft was in need of some repairs. :( I turned to Asimov to provide some peace and calm. Another set of robot stories I hadn't read, The Bicentennial Man.

Soon enough the powers that be decided that we needed a different aircraft and the delay was the exact span of my transit in Delhi. From there on it went more or less downhill. You know what's worse than knowing for certain that you'll miss a connection? Knowing that there is a very slim, but real, chance that you might still make it. :(

And I was so close! I got to the check in counter after less than five minutes of them closing. I had no check-in bag either! (I've actually made a few of those before. You just have to run like hell.) But at the exact same moment another passenger showed up. Only, he had a half dozen family members and what looked like an unending train of baggage trolleys in tow. :-< 

At least they let me check in for the next flight. All of 11 hours before take off. (Hey, there was a political strike in town and the inside of DEL Terminal 3 is fairly civilized. It's got tons of power sockets, free wi-fi, the works!) I had a string of newish excessively violent movies I hadn't gotten around to watching yet. Perfect way to vent frustration, I say. And there was Asimov.

By the time I made it home, the other political strike (in Kolkata) was long over. So at least I didn't have to walk home. Since then it's been pretty cool actually! Well, it was warm to start with, but then it started raining, so. Anyhoo, I'd been thinking about taking up another recommendation for a little bit. But I wasn't sure how well Ayn Rand would go with a rough trip, or a terrible transit. But once home, I figured I was free to start.

Atlas Shrugged is a big book. Even on a Kindle it feels like a big book! It is also easy to tell that it is a book written in another time. Another world. One that seems even farther away than most of Asimov's creations, in fact! (But that's not a fair comparison though, is it? For all their numbers and spans across the stars and galaxies, Asimov's worlds are all essentially our own.)

But there are stretches of pure brilliance. I imagine some things are timeless. No matter how extreme you make your characters, how insanely uni-dimensional, wind blowing hair at a hundred miles an hour is still pure exhilaration. :) For the rest of it, I figured American Gods would be a good companion. I mean, there's probably no bigger contrast. But at least all the weirdness of the one, I'm fully aware of. :)

What I really like about the concept of a re-read is how you can actually remember to ask all those things of a fellow reader that you forgot to the first time. You know how it is, you read a book. You love it. Or whatever, you have your personal moments of joy, hate, inspiration, grief, enlightenment etc. But then someone else reads it, a little while later, and you've forgotten most of it! Everything you wanted to talk about has boiled down to a couple of highlights that just doesn't do it all justice.

Anyway, I've finally found the first whole Alanis Morissette album since Jagged Little Pill that I actually really like every single song on! The combo with Dave Matthews' latest makes for a particularly awesome soundtrack to the reading. :)

Currently: caught up in two worlds
Listening to: Alanis Morissette - Havoc

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