a little east of reality

Monday, October 17, 2005

homeward bound with a book recommendation

I'm finally starting to recover...just in time to end my holiday and go back to work. Well, not that I'll be going back to work if I still feel this lousy on Wednesday. But still, I feel like the holiday is over before it really began. There were a couple of other people I really wanted to see and talk to, but I just plain ran out of time. I was also a bit worried about passing on this dreaded lurgy.

Everything about today felt long and drawn out. Packing was a drag. Then the long wait in Melbourne for my connecting flight. I got into Canberra at 4.30pm and had to wait for Rev to finish work to pick me up. Then I had to wait several more hours for Phi to get home and I was too sick to do anything meaningful in the meantime. But I did want to at least say 'hi' and ask how his week went before I went to sleep. I missed him while I was away. After the grouchy household full of sick people I just spent the week in, it was nice to come home to his easy conversation and subtle humour.

The one good thing all this downtime gave me was a chance to finish the Neil Gaiman book I've been reading. It's called Anansi Boys and is the story of Fat Charlie Nancy, who discovers after his father's death that his father is Anansi, the spider god. The most serious result of his new-found knowledge is a visit from the brother he never knew he had and who starts taking over his life. Throughout he has dealings with four old ladies who've known him since he was a boy. I loved them especially because they are West Indian. The way they talked, the way they saw things and worked things out was all so familiar to me. I felt like I could hear them speaking as I read. At the end of the book, a father is singing songs with his son and the songs were all songs that my father used to sing with me. eg Yellow Bird and Zombie Jamboree. Now there's a charmer of a song. How it ever got to be considered a song to sing to children I'll never know, but that's often the case with calypso.
Back to back.
Belly to belly.
We don' give a damn
Cuz we done dead a'ready.
Back to back.
Belly to belly.
At the zombie jamboree.

Anyway, the book is funny and endearing and definitely worth a read. The reviewer comment I liked best came from Tim Powers: "You'll stay up late to finish and then be sorry that it's done." Exactly right. I must go check my favourite bookstore soon to see if they've got his other books. I really like Neverwhere, but there are at least three more I haven't read yet.