Felt a bit better today, less tired and not as dizzy. No appointments today for a change, so spent the afternoon quietly at home listening to music and re-reading Robert W. Chambers' short story "The Repairer of Reputations."
I had not read Chambers since my teenage years, and I had forgotten nearly all of it. [Spoilers ahead!] It is narrated by a troubled man in what was then the near future, and some parts of the story don't seem to add up. But the first time you read the story you shrug that off, figuring that you'll eventually work out what is going on.
When I was younger, I was slightly baffled by the story and did not appreciate Chambers' artfulness in showing us everything through the eyes of an unreliable narrator. In fact, you realize after a few pages, we are hearing a tale told to us by a madman -- nobody and nothing he describes are likely to be true.
The story was first published in the 1895 collection THE KING IN YELLOW and has achieved a new life through being referenced in recent movies and television shows. I suspect, though, that readers who come to the book through that route will be as nonplussed by the story as I was in the 1960s.
Friday, February 24, 2017
Recently on Facebook, there was some discussion about the number of books I seemed to have read down the years. I explained that a lot of my reading had been done in my early years when I had a book on the go almost continuously. From memory I used to read about six paperbacks a week.
To examine the original data, I blew the dust off one of my old notebooks (and I mean that literally) and opened it to see what I read in the month of November 1972, which is -- um -- almost 45 years ago.
- THE KANDY-KOLORED TANGERINE-FLAKE STREAMLINE BABY by Tom Wolfe
- PROFESSOR JAMESON SPACE ADVENTURES: TWIN WORLDS by Neil R Jones
- THE BLIND WORM by Brian Stableford
- SEED OF THE DREAMERS by Emil Petaja
- PERRY RHODAN: PLANET OF THE DYING SUN
- DON'T FALL OFF THE MOUNTAIN by Shirley MacLaine
- LOST HORIZON by James Hilton
- THE CYBERNETIC BRAINS by Raymond F. Jones
- NEW WORLDS QUARTERLY No.2
- THE DAYS OF GLORY by Brian Stableford
- THE INHERITORS by A. Bertram Chandler
- THE GATEWAY TO NEVER by A. Bertram Chandler
- KING KOBOLD by Christopher Stasheff
- THE HIGH HEX by Laurence M. Janifer & S.J. Treibich
- NEBULA AWARD STORIES No.2
- NEBULA AWARD STORIES No.3
- DRAGONFLIGHT by Anne McCaffrey
- THE AVENGERS: THE AFRIT AFFAIR
- THE AVENGERS: THE MAGNETIC MAN
- THE BLACK STAR PASSES by John W. Campbell
- DR. FUTURITY by Philip K. Dick
- THE CRACK IN SPACE by Philip K. Dick
- HELL'S GATE by Dean R. Koontz
- THE NEW TOMORROWS edited by Norman Spinrad
- INFINITY TWO edited by Robert Hoskins
- THE REBEL WORLDS by Poul Anderson
- THE WEATHERMONGER by Peter Dickinson
- THE HOLLOW by Agatha Christie
- THE STAR VIRUS by Barrington J. Bayley
- PERRY RHODAN: THE IMMORTAL UNKNOWN
- PERRY RHODAN: VENUS IN DANGER
- PERRY RHODAN: SECRET BARRIER X
- THE WARLORD OF THE AIR by Michael Moorcock
- THE ENEMY STARS by Poul Anderson
- GOD BLESS YOU, MR ROSEWATER by Kurt Vonnegut
- ALICE'S WORLD by Sam J. Lundwall
- NO TIME FOR HEROES by Sam J. Lundwall
- EMPIRE OF TWO WORLDS by Barrington J. Bayley
- VULCAN'S HAMMER by Philip K. Dick
- DR. OX AND OTHER STORIES by Jules Verne
- THE BLONDE AND THE BOODLE by Jack Trevor Story
- A BOOK OF MILLIGANIMALS by Spike Milligan
- MASTER OF LIFE AND DEATH by Robert Silverberg
- INVADER FROM EARTH by Robert Silverberg
- SKYJACK! by Clark Whelton
- DOC SAVAGE: THE MUNITIONS MASTER
- FLIGHT INTO DANGER by Arthur Hailey.
So, forty seven books in thirty days. Most not long books, some quite short in fact. But you can see how it adds up if you keep reading at that rate for several years. I may not know many modern writers, but I can claim to have a pretty good acquaintance with the authors of the first three quarters of the twentieth century !