Tuesday, October 20

john irving -last night in twisted river

There is a bit towards the end of Hotel New Hampshire (1981) that I often think about... the father takes his son to a fancy hotel bar in Vienna, round the corner from their own slightly run down hotel. The dad's belt is old and cracked and clothes beaten up, in a sort of world weary dishevellment. The pair link arms in pure paternal love and share a drink. Anyhow, great scene. Long/short that book set me following each subsequent release from John Irving with great interest. Did not hurt that he later moved to about 20 miles away from our homestead in Vermont or that his last book, Until I Find You, featured a tattoo parlor in Leith (Scotland) as a venue, (Sis lives round the corner from one of the possible inkshops Irving thought of) or that my Scottish grandfather was a church organist and Oma now attends Old St. Paul’s kirk (as featured in that last book too).

Irving's newest, Last Night in Twisted River, is released next week I believe?? Hope to grab it right away. The story concerns a crusty logger, a cookee and a young boy who flee a logging camp after a tragic death (something like that...). Look forward to the description and details in this one as some of these places and people may be coming from the author's own timber-lined past. Further reading. You can read a big excerpt Chapter 1 here. Review by Irvine Welsh via the FT (yes Trainspotting Welsh).

A fantastic, historical logging book is Tall Trees Tough Men. Lots of teamsters spitting tobacco etc, a great read.

Mildly related on the Leith tip and worth a few minutes; Anthony Bourdain meets Scottish writer Ian Rankin (famous for the Inspector Rebus books) and they take in a few of the sights of Leith. Point of fact, The Mermaid is not my go-to chippy, but deep fried haggis is goooood -sholt and shauce.... Not a sheep's bladder though, it is stomach... haha. Love that they eat out on the street, epic. Found the video via All Plaidout. In the 4 other parts of the series below AB visits Marco Pierre White, Fergus Henderson, Smithfields market, Morcheeba(?) and more... way too much. All good stuff though. Jealous as hell.


Apothecary Fox said...

Read every one of Irving's books, the short stories and the auto bio etc. He takes years to write his books so it is torture once you finish the newest one, knowing that it will be forever until he gets another one out. Didn't love them all, and struggled through some. They are epics! The World according to Garp is my absolute favourite, the movie is just as good. The Cider House Rules is also brilliant "Goodnight you Princes of Maine, you Kings of New England"...tears to your eyes.
Can't wait for the new one. Right up your alley.

Jedd Rose said...

The thing that always gets me about Bourdain is his constant critical nature of everything while at the same time truly enjoying what he likes and being such a great guy to everyone he meets on his show. Guess that is a good lesson for life, enjoy the crap out of what you like, skip what you don't. Can't get enough.