Sunday, 18 March 2007

California Time

"People say that life is the thing, but I prefer reading." Logan Pearsall Smith

So I guess I'll just be writing about books, and films, and music and pictures, and secondhand consumption of other cultural detritus. There is limited dramatic potential in what I do, viz: sitting around drinking coffee and smoking roll-ups, while reading The Chinese Orange Mystery. But, as a justification for this typing into the void, I will put some random recommendations at the end of every post. These are notes towards the definition of the canon in their respective fields. What's the point of having opinions if you aren't going to be opinionated?
One very slightly puzzling thing happened today. I was checking something on the web and found a site offering quotations from Frederic Raphael, which described him as "best known for After the War and California Time". I having been wondering ever since whether it was supposed to be a joke. I love California Time, but I think it's the only one of his books which never made it to paperback; certainly all the copies for sale on abebooks are first editions, which rather suggests that there was only one edition.
You get a lot of hits for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with him, too. Perhaps he missed his true metier?

Today's recommendations:
Detective fiction: The Hollow Man (also titled The Three Coffins), John Dickson Carr
Science Fiction: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Philip K Dick
Biscuit: Rich Tea