Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Starter For Ten By David Nicholls (Hodder & Stoughton 2003)

Walking back along the High Street after the tutorial, I see Rebecca whats-her-name and a couple of the fuckingangryactuallys that she's always hanging around with. They're thrusting leaflets into the hands of indifferent shoppers and for a moment I contemplate crossing the road. I'm a bit wary of her to be honest, especially after our last conversatron, but I've made a promise to myself to make as many new friends as possible at university, even if they glve every indication of not actually liking me very much.

'Hiya,' I say

'It's the Dancing Queen! How you doing?' she says, and hands me a leaflet, urging me to boycott Barclays.

Actually my grant money's with one of the other caring humanitarian multinational banking organisations!' I say, with an incisive wry, satirical glint in my eye, but she's not really looking and has gone back to handing out leaflets and shouting 'Fight apartheid! Support the boycott. Don't buy South African goods! Say no to apartheid! . . .' I start to feel a bit boycotted too, so start to walk away when she says, in a marginally softer voice, 'So, how ya' settling in, then?'

'Oh, alright. I'm sharing my house with a rlght pair of bloody Ruperts. But apart from that it's not too bad . . . ' I had thrown in the hint of class war for her benefit really but I don't think she gets lt, because she looks at me confused.

'They're both called Rupert?'

'No, they're called Marcus and Josh.'

'So who are the Ruperts?'

'They are, they're, you know - Ruperts', but the remark is starting to lose some of its cutting edge and I wonder if I should offer to hand out leaflets instead. After all, it is a cause I'm passionate about, and I have a strict policy of not eating South Afrrcan fruit that's almost as strict as my policy of not eating fruit. But now Rebecca's folding up the remaining leaflets and handing them to her colleagues.

'Right, that's me done for today. See you later, Toby, see you Rupert . . . ' and suddenly I find myself walking down the street side by side with her, without quite knowing whose idea it was. 'So, where're we off to now, then?' she asks, hands stuffed deep into the pockets of her black vinyl coat.

3 comments:

robert said...

So are you getting ready to announce the total number of books you've read this year? Still time to fit another in ;>)
I bet it's as impresssive as the film count, but have many would you say have been over 300 pages long?
Oh, and how many non-fiction?
My sum totals are rather poor all round, but I have put in a hugely impressive amount of hours staring at the ceiling.
Happy Hogwash
Robert (not of Carlyle)

Darren said...

You're asking for a page count? That's harsh.

At the last count it was 61 books for the year. I've not figured out the read versus reread ratio or the fiction versus non-fiction ratio, but I guess I could if the mood took.

I set myself the task of reading 30 books this year, so 61 is heartening. I go through phases of reading lots of books some years and maybe only one or two the following year. It'd be nice if I kept up the reading habit in the New Year.

I think I will, if only because I've fallen in love with Julian Symons's crime novels and I feel a 'glut read' coming on.

robert said...

That's a mighty total! 30 would have been impressive. I'm always gobsmacked at the Booker prize judges who read c.130-140, not including re-reads.
The first book I read this year was 'Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell' - bloody great, but clocking in at about 1000 pages, so it took me ages to read.
Never read any Julian Symons, but will look out for him - I see he's written shedloads, so let the glut commence!