Via assorted folk on the f-list the book quiz. The rules are as for everyone else – a point for the author, a point for the title, a point for the genre, a point for getting the date to within 25 years. And bonus points if I like the reasoning 😉 No Googling, no cheating, and give reasons for your guesses please. Comments with answers will be screened until Tuesday.
I like all of the novels from which an extract has been taken.
2. “The play was a modern version of Aladdin and His Wonderful Lamp. Apart from the hero, was a Scottish working class simpleton, the characters were upper class English types of the sort who are continually caricaturing themselves on radio and film. The production called itself A Political Pantomime, and had no doubt been written with satirical intent, but I saw nothing funny in it. Only Helen made it worth watching. She played a selfish, sexy, calculating bitch with so much vigour that her lines sounded witty.”
3. “Nothing makes the time pass or shortens the way like a thought that absorbs in itself all the faculties of the one who is thinking. External existence is then like a sleep of which this thought is the dream. Under its influence, time has no more measure, space has no more distance. Ypou leave one place and arrive at another, that is all. of the interval in between, nothing more remains in your memory than a vague mist in whcih a thousand confused images of trees, mountains, and landscapes dissolve. It was in the grips of this hallucination that *** covered, at whatever speed his horse wished to take, the six or eight leagues from ***** to *****, reaching that village without recalling anything he had met on the way.”
4. “”New people! New people!”
Suddenly he froze in the swaying branches. The new people had heard him. he could see by the blinking of the fire and the shaking of the thick bushes that they would come into sight. The fire twinkled again, but a track among the green smoke began to twist and sway down towards the river. he coule hear branches cracking. He leaned out.
Then there was nothing more. The green smoke steadied or pulsed gently under the wind. The fire twinkled.”
5. “The Fall occurred in darkness. We had been moving house a great deal recently, in what must have been a giddy ascent through the local real estate market, and our palace of the day was a mansion on a hill and the day was a black afternoon near Christmas. *** had been making paper decorations with ***, and I have a notion that if I could ever find the place, if it not a council estate or a bypass by now, they would still be hanghing there exactly as we left them, stars of David and stars of Bethlehem – she taught me the difference precisely – twinkling in enormous empty rooms. ”
6. “”Even with *** at the Home Office, the Project under way and regular full Cabinet meetings, I still saw very little of him. SO, after much reflection, I called in MI5 and had him, well, followed, on a daily round the clock basis. I had no suspicions, of course. He was as loyal to his country and Government as I am. I went to gret lengths to make sure that no fiel was opened on him. you see, having him folloed was a way of being with him all the time. Can you understand that?”
7. “”Dream… and they might come true, ” I lifted the *** up onto the stage. That evening at Vincent’s, for a thousand different excellent reasons, he could not bring himself to ask me to do this. For all I know he had no intention of asking me to do this. To get me to write his story may not ahve been why he was there at all. Maybe it was only why I was there.
Basketball was never like this.
He’d invoked in me, when I was a boy – as he did in hundreds of other boys – the strongest fantasy I had of being someone else. But to wish oneself into another’s glory, as boy or as man, is an impossibility, untenable on psychological grounds if you are not a writer, and on aesthetic grounds if you are.”
8. “”Yes. Let’s have it again, stranger, ” said the glazier, a stout, bucketheaded man, with a white apron rolled up round his waist. “Folks don’t life up thie hearts like that in this part of the world.” And turning aside he said in undertones, “Who is the young man? – Scotch, d’ye say?”
“Yes, straight from the mountains of Scotland, I believe,” replied Coney
Young *** repeated the last verse. It was plain that nothing so pathetic had been heard at the King of Prussia for a considerable time. The difference of accent, the excitability of the singer, the intense local feelins, and the seriousness with which he worked himself up to a climax, surprised this set of worthies, who were only too prone to shut up their emotions with caustic words.”
9. “The judges went to their places on the dais but did not sit down until the national anthem had been played through a loudspeaker. It was all curiously reminiscent of a royal visit to the opera. Even the low murmur of conversation which began as we sat down again was familiar. All that was different was that instead of the lowering of lights and the rise of a curtain somebody stood up and called out the name of
*** ***, and all eyes turned toward a pair of glazed dors beside the dais. Then there was silence except for the sound of the cameras and the distant throbbing of the generator whcih supplied the power for the floodlights.”
10. “Then someone caught sight of the apparition high above, and screamed, The priest faltered, and even the congregation twisted round to see what was happening. In utter silence all watched the black shape tumbling through the dim expanses towards them.
The sight was an ink blot test for everyone’s seecret fears and fantasies. An arthritic seamstress who lived above and automobile body shop in the *** *** saw the long-desired angel swooping down to release her from the torments of the flesh. A retired chemist from *** on the other hand, visiting the capital for only the second time in his life, recalled the eathquake which had recently devastated his own city and saw a chunk of dome plummeting down, first token of a general collapse. Others thoughts confusedly of spiders or bats, superhero stunts or circus turns. Only one observer knew precisely what was happening, having seen it all before.”