Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Larry's Party



It has taken me some time, eighteen years to be precise, but I have finally read "Larry's Party," by Carol Shields which was first published in 1997. It is the touching story of a male florist who develops a penchant for mazes and experiences two divorces along the path of a successful business career. There may be touches of humour but it is essentially an emotional experience in which the author seeks to share the thoughts and feelings of a very ordinary man's life. 

I suspect it's a book best avoided by family lawyers and their clients for it fails to dwell on processes and instead concentrates on feelings. However and whilst I'm a firm believer in fiction mirroring the reality we find too hard to describe, this is no self-help book but rather the life-journey of a contemporary man (albeit, and because of my dilatory reading speed, of the last century).

I do wonder, however, is there really anybody out there who has invited not one but two ex-wives to the same party?


Friday, 16 October 2015

The House of Social Media



Whilst travelling recently we undertook a guided tour of an 18th century Ottoman house. The guide showed us what he described as the gentlemen’s room and pointed to a small curtained gallery above. He explained that this was used by servants to check when the men required serving their next course and also by the ladies of the house, to spy on the men; maybe catching a glimpse of the face of their betrothed after an arranged marriage had been contracted or to stalk their husband, learning perhaps if he was planning a second or third marriage.


“We call it Facelook” the guide said, “The historical precursor to Facebook.”