Stoke of old

24 09 2006

Book front cover

Anna of the Five Towns (Penguin Modern Classics)
Arnold Bennett, Frank Swinnerton
4 out of 5 stars

Anna of the Five Towns

One of those classics I meant to read when I actually lived in Stoke, but that was 15 years ago. Anna is complex and interesting and taking on her (substantial) inheritance and the attention of an energetic and successful local business man, Henry Mynors, presents her with a range of new challenges. This in addition to dealing with her exceptionally demanding father, running the household on a pound a week, spending all free time on evangelical missions for the local church and mixing it with the sewing circle.

The passages describing the work of the church, the school treat, Anna’s visit to a pot bank and a holiday on the Isle of Man are extrmely well realised. Entertaining, if partly foreshadowed, climax. Well worth a read though, especially if you like trying to work out which of the fictional five towns is based on which real one.

Very Onion–like

18 09 2006

Writing about web page

But no worse for that

(and very slow….)

I particularly liked the idea of a Gary Glitter musical

Songs about circuses: approximation of a playlist §24

16 09 2006

Songs about or related to circus stuff

animal trainer

The Trapeze Swinger – Iron & Wine
Send in the clowns – just about anyone
Tears of a clown – Smokey Robinson and the Miracles
Acrobat – U2
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Tiger Feet – Mud
Brown girl in the ring – Boney M
Paradise Circus – The Lilac Time
Highwire – Rolling Stones
Crazy Horses – The Osmonds
The Big Top – Laurie Anderson
Nellie the elephant

simply one of the best books I’ve read

16 09 2006

Book front cover

American Pastoral
Philip Roth
5 out of 5 stars

American Pastoral by Philip Roth

This really is an outstanding book. The basic plot � Swede Levov, high school sports star and inheritor of glove manufacturing empire, lives the American dream but then it all falls apart when his daughter decides to join the anti-Vietnam protests in the most dramatic way.

But really this doesn’t capture it � Roth covers the full sweep of the post-war American landscape here in the most extraordinarily powerful way.

Can’t really do it justice here � well worth the Pulitzer though!

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