Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Dora Keogh, launch pad

Caucasian man, tall and lean, dressed in beige pants and suit jacket. Baby soft, grey hair set against deep, blue eyes. Telling a joke in a quiet Irish lilt. Book in hand. His book. An award-winning book.

The Law of Dreams, Peter Behrens (House of Anansi Press)

Page 15:

As he walked home that afternoon, up the mountain, four young men--one a cousin--stopped him on the path. Before a blow had been struck, while the cousin was still boiling up insults, calling Carmichael's mare a sorry lump of leather; a bag of goat bones; a mustard fuck, Fergus lowered his head and ran at him, butting him in the chest and knocking him down. Seizing a stick, he held off the others until his cousin stood up, grunting like a bull. Fergus threw away the stick and ran. They gave chase, screaming like a pack of hounds, and one of them finally brought him down with a brute shove that sent him sprawling.

They sat, six in total. One closed her eyes. One straightened her pink Polo shirt around the bulge she intends to lose in time for the holidays. Another set her smirk in place, like she knew what was coming. Each bore a baubled ring on her wedding finger. At home, husbands sat in front of the television, the computer, the back deck door, or bedroom wall, with a frozen dinner, leftovers, ordered-in pizza, or eggs for dinner.

"She drove into town with the girls from her book club. Some guy's giving a reading. I don't ask."


KK said...

What was Peter saying when he did his Irish lilt voice?

All I heard then were the 3 people talking and laughing loudly outside. Then they came back in and jostled their way to the front.

Julie Wilson said...

He was saying how he'd been a part of a reading where you couldn't start until you'd done something in front of the audience you'd never done before. Apparently his wife said, "Eat sushi!" which I thought was hilarious. But, instead, he told a joke. Enter very quiet Irish lilt. (I won't attempt the joke, it was quite long. I will say that the punchline was, "The Pope asked, 'Where the fuck did ya get that awful haircut?!'"

KK said...

Thanks, I think I heard the punchline, or at least that it involved the words "hair" and "fuck". Whatever that says about me.

Is the book any good? I'm thinking of picking it up, if there're any left.

Julie Wilson said...

I've only started but it's really quite beautiful. It was nice to hear him read from it. A bit unexpected, he at once stands out, then vanishes. The same can be said for his voice. I very much enjoyed listening to him.