Putu the Cat

Fear me, if you dare. Meow.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Booker for Hollinghurst

A surprise Booker win for Alan Hollinghurst's novel A Line of Beauty. The book is about the life of Nick Guest, a gay Oxford graduate living a sumptious life in the Thatcher era and how his life slowly unravels. Hollinghurst who many had predicted would not win was quite chuffed at the award: "It's very amazing to me that the long, solitary process of writing a novel should lead to a moment like this". Hollinghurst had been the favourite almost a decade ago, but many felt that this graphical sexual descriptions cost him the earth. Given that sex is the flavour of the season, it's not surprising that this was his year! You can read an extract from the book here. Putu is yet to read Hollinghurst but has promptly ordered the book online and shall read it soon.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

The Devils Music

The top ten myths in rock courtesy Rolling Stone.
Inspired by the inspired rendition of 'Oh What a Babe' on the local pandal loudspeaker. Putu has had enough of Bollywood remixes and will soon call in Astrophe, cat goddess of disasters, to do what she does best.

To chav or chav not

Nice article about fashionable words and the years they made it to the top. Apparently the English language discovered sex in 1929, but it took until the 50s to figure out what sexy was. Also, someone should tell ad and newspaper people that generation x had its day in 1952. Basically, its all 1985, Putus just 2003ing this post with some 2000.
Update: The Complete Guide to Chav body language.

Buffalo soldier

And a very happy Durga Puja to all of you.

Unlike Tintin

Putu didnt make it to Tibet; a few more days up the Brahmaputra and it would have happened, though. Still, the hindbrain is back (rah! rah!) and is pleased to see the forebrain has been ticking away in the hindbrains absence.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Thanks, but no thanks

Nigerian literary giant Chinua Achebe has declined the 'Commander of the Federal Republic' title that the Nigerian government tried to bestow on him. He told the Olesegun Obasanjo government that given the present state of the country he was unable to accept the award. He expressed his reasons for turning down one of the nation's highest awards in a letter to the Guardian newspaper. "I write this letter with a very heavy heart. For some time now I have watched events in Nigeria with alarm and dismay. I have watched particularly the chaos in my own state of Anambra where a small clique of renegades, openly boasting its connections in high places, seems determined to turn my homeland into a bankrupt and lawless fiefdom...I am appalled by the brazenness of this clique and the silence, if not connivance of the Presidency...Nigeria's condition today under your watch is, however, too dangerous for silence...I must register my disappointment and protest by declining to accept the high honour awarded me in the 2004 Honours list."

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Adrian Mole and the WMDs

Nope, this isn't an anti war rant. Adrian Mole is back- for what might be the last book in a series that has absolutely captivated a generation. (I have personally converted at least a dozen people into Adrian Mole fans). That this might be the last book is because Sue Townsend is now registered blind and has found it increasingly difficult to write. She needs to dictate her books to her husband, and despite a magnifier cannot read for more than a quarter of an hour at a stretch. The book is set in 2002 with a running commentary on the Iraq war which is so direct, it barely qualifies as satire. Mole is exactly as he was in book 1- sexually frustrated and perplexed as to why the world fails to recognize his obvious literary talent. But by the end of the book Mole seems to attain a sense of peace, and despite Townsend's claim that there might be sequel, this might be a final goodbye.

Move over Enid Blyton

Coz Jacqueline Wilson is here. This quintessential Brit grandmom has just overtaken Catherine Cookson (uggh) as the most borrowed author from British public libraries, and talks to the Telegraph, UK about her success. What is really interesting about Wilson is that despite the pink and fluorescent covers and titles like The Diamond Girls, Wilson's books don't deal with a fantasy land where Sunday afternoons are spent picnicking with a hamper full of goodies and morality oozes out of every page. Rather her stories are about single mothers, their difficult but human and believable children and their trials and tribulations. Four of Wilson's books were included in the BBC's Big Read top 100: Double Act, Girls in Love, Vicky Angel and The Story of Tracy Beaker. Jacqueline Wilson has sold more than 15 million books in the UK and was recently voted England's favourite children's author.