Friday, June 05, 2015

The Sunday Haul (on 31-05-2015)

Last Sunday it was the final Sunday of May. Another week and the monsoon would begin and hopefully, would bring rain that everyone seemed to be eagerly waiting for. I did not mind if the rain disrupted my visits to Abids on Sunday because I think the farmers need rain more than I need books. So last Sunday it was hot but not as hot as it had been the previous Sundays. Since I didn’t have to go to the office or didn’t have anything to do that kept me away from Abids I browsed to my heart’s content.
The first title I found was ‘Mist’ and ‘Creature of Darkness’ by MT Vasudevan Nair, another favorite writer of mine. It was a slim volume and in quite good condition. I hope to read the two novellas in this title sometime soon. Somehow I want to read more of Indian writing and finding this title is making me restless to read this famed writer at the earliest. By the way, I got this book for only twenty rupees.
Actually, the first find was a book I found in a heap with a seller in the lane where I park my bike. So far I have stayed clear of books for Eric Ambler and haven’t read anything by him. However, I have his autobiography ‘Here Lies Eric Ambler’ at home but I haven’t read it yet. I found ‘Cause for Alarm’ on the cover of which was Graham Greene’s statement about Ambler being ‘our greatest thriller writer.’ This praise was enough to make me buy this title. I got this book too for twenty rupees.
Later, in another heap of books selling for thirty rupees, I saw a book in a condition that would have put me off buying it. There were termite holes on the hardcover that ran all the way to the last page on the back. Normally I don’t even look at such copies but this was a different book. It was ‘Bright Book of Life; American Novelists and Storyteller from Hemingway to Mailer’ by Alfred Kazin. I don’t let go of books like this so despite its condition I bought this book hoping to know more how Hemingway, Mailer, and other American novelists worked on their craft. By the way, the title is taken from an interesting observation DH Lawrence made in an essay (?) titled ‘Why the Novel Matters’ and the observation is this:
‘And being a novelist, I consider myself superior to the saint, the scientist, the philosopher, and the poet, who are all great masters of different bits of man alive, but never get the whole hog.
The novel is the one bright book of life.’

The final find was another interesting book. I found ‘Childhood Days’ by Satyajit Ray, the great man himself. Obviously it was a memoir and I was delighted to find this Penguin title in good condition. The seller asked for forty rupees for it which I paid without bargaining because I don’t come across these kinds of titles too often.


Deepa Madhu said...

I read the malayalam version of Mist and it is still haunting me. Thanks for the book recommendations. Nice blog space. will be back again

Vinod Ekbote said...

Deepa Madhu, thank you.

Harimohan said...

Childhood days looks interesting.