Friday, October 04, 2013

The Sunday Haul

Of late all the crime fiction titles by writers who I haven’t heard before and that I picked up recently are proving to have been pretty good choices. Some time back I had picked up Peter Blauner’s ‘Casino Moon’ that I found to be extremely good. Then there was Harry Dolan’s ‘Bad Things Happen’ that I picked up again quite a long time and that I read last week and found to be very impressive. It has got me into the habit of picking up such titles by unfamiliar (to me) writers. Last Sunday I picked up ‘Red Leaves’ by Thomas H. Cook based on the cover and the blurbs at the back. I haven’t seen any title by this writer whose name is completely unfamiliar to me. I got it for thirty rupees and I hope I find it worth it.
The second find was a classic crime fiction title by my favorite writer- Elmore Leonard- ‘Get Shorty’ of which I have several copies already. I bought the title I saw on Sunday just because the cover was an entirely different one and a cover that I had not seen earlier. I will give this copy to someone who hasn’t heard of Elmore Leonard till now. I don’t think there will be anyone among my friends since I have told all of them about EL and his titles.
The third find was another good find- a book of essays by Julian Barnes titled ‘Something to Declare’ which I got pretty cheap. It has the following seventeen essays- An Englishman Abroad, Spending Their Deaths on Holiday, The Promises of Their Ordination, The Land Without Brussels Sprouts, Tour de France 1907, The Pouncer, French Letters, Flaubert’s Death-Masks, Not Drowning But Waving: The Case of Louise Colet, Drinking Ink, Two Moles, Consolation v Desolation, Tail-Flaying, The Cost of Conscientious Literature, Faithful Betrayal, and A Small Major Character.
The final item in the Haul was a nice present by Jai. He had told me sometime back that he had finished translating a Kannada novel and that it was published recently. But I forgot all about until last Sunday when Jai suddenly took out a book from his bag and gave it to me. It was a signed copy of the English translation of Rodda Vyasrau Venkatrau’s Kannada novel ‘Chandramukhiya Ghatavu’, originally published in the year 1900 and which Jai has translated into English. It was one of the first few novels published in the country in Kannada and I could finish reading the novel in less than twenty minutes because the novel doesn’t exceed thirty pages. It was a bilingual edition and since I cannot read Kannada I read the English version. Hats off to Jai for undertaking the translation.

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