In my head, I have two very distinct ideas about Iran. There is the Shah and his regime; all sophistication, both insofar as the supporters of the regime and its opponents are concerned. Then there is the current regime which seems very repressive and does not involve any shiny jewellery. I am confused. We have a handyman who comes to our house who is Iranian. He is very distinguished looking with half moon glasses, a white moustache and perfect tan. I am desperate to ask him about his position on the Shah and the axis of evil but I have, with great difficulty, restrained myself. Itâ€™s bad enough that this man whom I suspect has a number of third level degrees and whom I know speaks excellent English is reattaching my curtain rail without me torturing him for details of his homeland.
NaBloPoMo – R is for Roth and Rowling
But first, I forgot Philip Pullman under P. The “His Dark Materials” trilogy is very good. Book 2 “The Subtle Knife” is the best but Book 3 “The Amber Spyglass” is unsatisfactory in a number of ways. Anyway, I’ll probably go to the blockbuster movie at Christmas, if I can persuade my sister to come with me.
I started reading Philip Roth when I was in college. I really enjoyed “Portnoy’s Complaint” which was hopelessly, helplessly funny and the early Zuckerman novels which had something of the same spirit though I suspect he never wrote anything as good again. I found “Deception” appealing in a sort of heavy going literary kind of way. I took up “American Pastoral” recently and it nearly killed me. I am Rothed out but I still retain fond memories of earlier novels.
Who would have thought “Harry Potter” would be such a phenomenon? The publishing executive tells me that they are regretfully laying off people at Bloomsbury in the wake of book 7. I thought books 1-4 were great, 5 was tedious, 6 was fine and 7 was good once the extended and pointless camping trip ended. She should have sent them back to school, they were a set of books about boarding school.
In a related photo, would you care to inspect dinner at the Hogwarts creche?