The Guardian has been publishing this past week a series called 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read. I am a sucker for anything like that : Albums One Must Own; Films One Must See Before One Dies; Men One Must Shag* etc etc. I like pouring over these lists, ticking off those I have read/heard/seen/shagged - and I have this week been doing just that with the Guardian lists.
Last Saturday was comedy novels, Sunday with the Observer was books on crime and so on and so forth.
Well as I do keep mentioning I am currently reading War and Peace. I have about 200 pages to go and it will count as a major life time achievement when I actually reach the end.
All week I have been looking out for My Book in The Guardian list. I needed to see it there so I could have that lovely smug feeling that this enormously long novel is one absolutely everyone HAS to read - and I have very nearly done just that. The only thing was I wasn't quite sure which category W&P would fall into so I have looked for it everyday - except the science fiction day - I really did not think it would feature in that section. The last day of the series dawned without me having seen My Book but oh yes! The section on Friday was entitled 'War and Travel'. This Was It.
Only it wasn't.
Alphabetically listed I turn the page where the last book mentioned was Sophie's Choice by William Styron to see the next entry - The Adventure's of Hucklebury Finn by Mark Twain. 'Huh?' I turn back a page - Styron. I turn forward a page - Twain. 'Ha! Probably got a special feature on My Book.' So I searched for the special feature. Only it did not exist.
I was forced to the conclusion that this enormously long book that I thought I just HAD to read was not in fact a book I had to read at all. Clearly I have been wasting valuable reading time this past two months when there are all these other essential novels which I simply HAVE to read.**
But as I was saying - typical bloody Guardian. I just went on their web site to find a link for this waffle and lo - what do I see listed inbetween Styron and Twain?
Tolstoy - Leo 'War and Peace'.
What is it with the Guardian and printing errors??? Only The Guardian could compile a list of war novels we simply have to read and manage to omit the most famous one of them all by mistake!
* Joking. Am not really a sucker for a list like that Reidski dearest!
** Joking again. Time not remotely wasted reading it - it is I have to say a joy to read.
The Hamilton Hacker - Nice wee bit of sly humour from the April 1937 issue of the *Socialist Standard*.
12 hours ago