April 19, 2005

Ireland And Its Raconteurs

Well its been 3 posts and I sill haven’t got any comments (other than the two welcome comments!). But the “unread” status of my literary efforts shall not discourage me. After all a blog is as much as about self expression as it is about self publishing!

After watching the first few overs of Indian bowling in the final India-Pakistan series, I decided I am definitely not masochistic!. I am not gonna hang around to watch that lousy (but girls tell me “sexy”) pathan called afridi stick it up Indian arses!

So what else to do? Two roomies deserted me for the environs of Bangalore and I am all alone in the apartment (ofcourse there is this pigeon which keeps coming in but counting it out!) and its too early to invite friends over for a drink. Well I thought I will raid my roomies rather large collection of books most of which I have already read. Found a new one, Tis: A Memoir by Frank McCourt. This is the second part of his autobiography (first is called Angela’s Ashes). i decided if another Irish book is the only one available then it will be my read for the day(rather gloomily I must admit!).

But boy, was this book something. It is not often that an author can introduce humour to a book which has the feeling melancholy running through the entire content. But he does that, and does it as well as Frank has done here, it is definitely worth a read. I have not read (but plans to read soon) the first part of his biography which details his childhood in Limerick (That’s in Ireland..for u dumbo’s ..the Limerick style of poems are named after the place!). This one deals with his life in America as a poor immigrant (not to mention an ugly one!) with a bad accent and no prospects. The books moves on to his mis-adventures with the US army as a volunteer soldier and as a drifter post-army life. He wants to go to college (but does not have a high school diploma), still managed to do that but finds that that he is leagues away from his class mates in terms of social, economic thought processes. The book moves on to his life as a teacher, married life (not much here..may be saving it for the third part?), a father and above all as a dutiful but confused son of a mother (who lives and dies a sad life). I have read many (too many?) sad but uplifting stories, but very rarely do I come across one which is sad but manages to be uplifting not because of the story but because of the author’s outlook to life and his style of writing.

Definitely recommend the book. I am also planning to read the first part of his memoirs and the books by his younger brother (Malachy McCourt). Hopefully the younger sibling will also have the freshness of his older brother’s writing


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