Bookish things.

I had two hour-long flights yesterday, to a customer site and back again, so I decided I would finally start reading Irvine Welsh’s latest book, a collection of short stories called ‘If You Liked School, You’ll Love Work’. It was a toss up between it and the recently published, unedited version of Kerouac’s On The Road, subtitled ‘The Original Scroll’, but I figured Welsh would be better fare for sleep deprived airline travel.

For those who don’t know, Irvine Welsh is the man who wrote Trainspotting, and if you liked the movie as much as I did, then I highly recommend reading the book. It’s not one of those things where the book was necessarily better than the movie, but the movie focuses on a select group of characters from the book, which was a smart way to make a decent film adaptation. So what I’m saying is, the book has more of the same, including a very gruesomely funny scene involving menstruation and tomato soup. But I’ve said too much already.

So I’m reading his latest, and in the titular short story, there is a line, the kind of line he tosses in every so often, that I really dug. It’s what his protagonist thinks after realizing that sleeping with this particular girl was probably a bad idea:

…anybody can play Emperor in the Enlightened Realm of Retrospect,

just as we can all play Cunt in the Kingdom of Trouser Wood.

I love it.

I would say that Kerouac and Welsh are my two favourite writers, and I sort of obsess about the two of them alternatively. This is probably because I read the bulk of their work during what has cheaply been buzzworded the ‘Quarterlife Crisis’ part of my life, the early to mid twenties, when it seems like a lot of people are trying to reconcile their youth, and figure out the inevitability of adulthood.

I think the best advice I could give to anyone in that part of their life, would be to spend a summer working in some remote, beautiful area, away from the distractions of modern life, and spend the free time you have during that summer reading as many of the books that you’ve always wanted to but never got around to reading, and if I could humbly recommend a couple of books worth reading during that time, I would say ‘Maribou Stork Nightmares’ by Welsh, and probably ‘On the Road’ by Kerouac, though honestly I found just about every one of Jack’s autobiographical series of books to be pretty amazing.

Speaking of bookish things…

As I was deplaning last night, a whirlwind day of travel and playing the technician equivalent of beat the clock with a room full of old and poorly maintained machinery, I was thinking about how much I travel, and how I could almost write a book of travel advice, and while I was waiting by the baggage carousel for luggage that seemed have been shipped separately on the backs of drunken three-legged donkeys based on its delay, I found myself turning that train of thought into an interesting concept for a work of fiction, whether a book or movie script.

Then today, as I’ve thought about it further, I’m thinking it might be an interesting concept for a fiction blog. I will have to let this idea ferment and cement a little more, but I think it could turn into something pretty cool.

One last book related thing. I recently downloaded some audiobooks, for road traveling, to offer an alternative to music, and found them to be a great idea. One of the downloads I.. erm… found… was a collection of Phillip K Dick audiobooks. Never read his stuff before, and I’m really finding it pretty amazing for the most part. Kinda fucked up in places too, but not really in a bad way. I can’t get over how much shit he more or less predicted about the future that has in some roundabout way come to fruition in the age we live in now.

-Speaking of the future, I have to go pick up the wife so we can continue to discuss possibilities for ours. More on that soon, probably.


One Response to “Bookish things.”

  • onion says:

    it took me 36 years to find kerouac – and i’m rather p*ssed that it did.
    i would have been comforted in my wild youth to find a mind that spoke in the same manner that mine did.
    i’ve only managed to read on the road, and will certainly be scrounging for well thumbed copies of his other works.
    what blows me away about his work – other than the visionary perspectives; poetic rythm etc. – is the speed i felt compelled to read it at… like being on a rollercoaster… shrieking with joy and terror.
    my mind is a restless thing indeed – and kerouac made me feel ‘at home’ with myself for the first time in ages.

Leave a Reply

Stuff I Do
  • [SIC] I’m working on recording an album. Follow the progress here.
  • Downloadable Contempt My newest blog, focusing on commentary on music, movies, TV shows.
  • Imaginary Enemies Another webcomic, done in crayon. Still figuring it out.
  • misplaced: the webcomic My photographic webcomic, about action figures. Read by over 4 people worldwide!