An optimistic saga with three alternative tragic endings to choose from
Fred had a nice set of coffee mugs – all with sort of old-fashioned adverts on them. There were twenty-one mugs in all. He loved them. He kept them on a shelf in the dining room, just high enough to reach with a stretch. His wife hated them.
• One day, as he was standing under the shelf an earthquake struck. A mug fell off, hit him on the head, and killed him.
• One day, as he was in the dining room his distraught wife threw a mug at him, hit him on the head, and killed him.
• One day, Fred came home and had a nice cup of coffee and a cookie. Nothing could be more relaxing. Unfortunately he choked to death on the cookie.
Let me get one thing straight. You jokers, all you jokers who want to be rich, it’s no fun being rich. It’s no fun being famous. I might be a film star but life’s not all a bed of roses. Let me illustrate.
Yesterday my wife walked out on me, and tonight I’ve got my first date since. I’m pretty excited about it, as she’s a fairly well-known person and has both looks and money. A celebrity. The money bit suits me down to the ground, especially since the now-ex-wife will try to get at least half of what’s mine.
It’s important that I impress, so I thought I’d pick the new woman up in a brand-new Lamborghini. A white one. Well, the stupid car dealer had only one Lamborghini and it was red. You’d think with a cash sale they’d make a bit of an effort. There wasn’t time to search around for a white Lamborghini because I need it tonight, so I bought the red one. And now I have to go and change my entire wardrobe.
My student life ended abruptly, or shall I say, comic-apocalyptically, with the postmodernist classic by Joseph Heller, Catch-22. It happened when I wrote a chapter for my doctoral thesis that would soon be abandoned, on the anti-war anti-novel with an anti-hero gripped by existential absurdism. What I posited in the chapter was Joseph Heller had transmuted a rather mammoth graphic comic into pages of plain text with a devastating effect. Rarely before, the human brinkmanship manifest in the madness of war, bureaucratic idiocy and capitalist avarice was dissected with scalpels of black humour and rank irreverence at such epic lengths. The Catch-22 was a war-cry to end all wars in favour of reason and rationality fabricated by the society, no matter which club the critics sought to include the book in —absurdist, comic-apocalyptic, existentialist, black humour or counter-cultural zeitgeist.
I can deal (at times) with all sorts of computer languages, but I can’t see how to re-blog on WordPress! Anyway, when one is all nervous and shaky and excited, how is it possible to calmly find a re-blog button? The truth of the matter is:
The review is worth a read just to savour the wondrous writing skills of the reviewer: Uma Shankar. His blog is well-worth savouring – he writes stories, poems, reviews, and translates into English poetry from Hindi. It’s a delight to read a review composed with more aplomb than that being reviewed!!
So I’m posting this connection to his blog not only by way of thanks for the review, but to give others the opportunity to experience and enjoy his considerable literary skills!
Joylene prayed that somehow she would find a job or find some way to feed her three children. She even (just the once) took a dollar ticket in the lottery.
Hermann was a multi-millionaire. He prayed that he would win the 14 million lottery prize. And he did! He won! He won! He was very grateful to God. He danced up and down! Thank you! Thank you! Ask and you shall receive, he said, citing the scriptures.
In the meantime, Joylene continued to pray that somehow she would find a job or find some way to feed her three children.