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Archive for October 18th, 2009

Mother London

Usually, when I start reading a novel I have to keep going. Sure, I can put it away for a few days, but I have to keep reading to avoid losing he plot. If I leave it for weeks or months, I often never get around to finishing it.

I read a lot of Michael Moorcock when I was younger. His Dancers at the End of Time, Behold the Man, his other fantasy and SF books.

But I never got around to reading his never fiction until I bought Mother London earlier this year at Waterstone’s Piccadilly. And I started reading it and put it away a month or so ago.

Well I picked it up again a few days ago, and I’m happy I decided to give it another try. He has an amazing set of characters who together make a mosaic of post Blitz London.

An there is beer in it, too. Lots of chapters named after pubs and some witty scenes inside pubs.

Josef Kiss, still relatively young, yet assuming age as part of a disguise, passed into the empty warmth of the private bar, the day’s first customer, noisily expelling the hard-boiled egg smell of trains from his nostrils and holding up his hand for his usual pint quickly dispensed by the host Mick O’Dowd in shirtsleeves, whose skin was always copper, whose eyes were dull pewter.O’Dowd remarked that Mr Kiss’s thirst seemed unusually urgent.

“Dutchman’s fizz doesn’t much agree with me, Mick.” Drawing off his cape Josef Kiss hung it on the hatstand’s blackened mahogany. “Although Mrs. Kiss, who now lives there, thinks I’m merely narrow-minded, I’ve heard about the European beers of strength and character, especially in Germany and Belgium, but I can’t adapt to them, any more than you could face bland cheese and ham for breakfast. Now there’s a memory I’d exorcise. Have you a hot pie and perhaps some mash?”

Strand retusj

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