And then I started reading ‘The Historian’. Story is almost a bit like one of those cards/chain mails which say that you need to forward it to 10 people or you’ll die. Well, not exactly die, but there are cards that land up at houses which say things close to that.
So it goes basically like this. A book lands up at the table of a Historian, who then digs around and gets more info. Turns out his prof also got a similar book when he was young, and dug around and unearthed stuff on Dracula (OK, now that sounds a bit lame, but in the author’s defense she does take the lameness of the topic into consideration when characters go around poking noses). And then people died around him and he gave up. And then this Historian goes digging, only a cat dies near his place so he keeps digging on. His daughter finds these things when she’s a teenager and he starts narrating to her his story. The story is mostly told in flashback by the father. Actually the book itself is a flashback by the author, so it ends up being a flashback in a flashback and then the prof’s story is narrated by the prof in his flashback in her father’s flashback. Go figure. But again, in the author’s defense, she keeps it pretty clean and untangled and you don’t realize which level of flashback you are in, kind of like an automatic car where you don’t know which gear. Father and daugher keep traveling around the East European bloc (Yep, Cold war time) and he keeps narrating it at different points of travel. So pretty much a jagged narrative you could say. Managed to reach a point where the dad runs off after Dracula and the girl decides to follow him and get him back on her own. And then the library check out time ran out and turns out there is a long queue waiting for the book, which means I can’t renew. The fines are pretty small, but oh well…
Narrative is just too good. Description of visuals and old European towns is top drawer. Mostly small towns outside of the usual tourist beats. Kinda makes you want to travel around there.
Well, the book returned to the library and I cursed myself twice:
1: Having a copy back home in Bangalore and leaving that behind to save weight.(pratibimbha please note. You owe me one more for what I gave up.)
2: Not reading fast enough! But in my defense its a decent 600 odd pages long!
Oh well, now that reminds me, need to put it back on the queue.
And no more cockroach or spider stories from me in a while. The thought cupboard is pretty much empty these days. Also still smarting over the bouncer from a Bangladeshi bowler which brought Rahul Dravid down. Weird. 3 tests missed in 14 years and one because of bad food and the other because of a Bangladeshi fast bowler in Bangladesh. Anyone going to remember the bowler’s name? At least Tendulkar’s got blood from Waqar Younis in Pakistan on his career and Anil Kumble got Lara with a bandaged face in the West Indies. Sorry dude Dravid, you got to play second fiddle on that one too.