Friday, August 24, 2007
An outgrowth of the Galas event, this afternoon I picked up this 4-disc set on the British JSP label, "Rembetika; Greek Music from the Underground". Recorded from 1925 to 1947. Most of the way through the first disc and it sounds wonderful so far. Not dissimilar from what little I'd heard before or generally expected, but beautiful nonetheless. Also picked up a Juliette Greco album for Linda...we'll see about that 'un.
I've had hit and miss luck when purchasing Booker Prize winners or nominees. Chalk up another miss with Kate Grenville's "The Secret River", a 2005 runner-up. I'd read great things about it for a while and always kept it in mind before finally seeing it last week. Essentially a historical novel about the earliest days of the Australian colony, it reads like a bland TV miniseries, a network one at that. I at least expect the writer's ability to be of some interest and I suppose Grenville could be called "competent"; I'd prefer "pedestrian". You could have come up with the entirety of the plot line in about two minutes: poor, rough man doing his best for his growing family in London falls afoul of the law (well-intentioned!), is sentenced to hanging, gets a last minute reprieve to a lifetime banishment on England's newest penal colony, takes family, tries to begin a new life, is the most decent of a slimy bunch, has grudging respect for the natives unlike his fellow countrymen, works to establish a homestead, conflicts with said natives, conflagration ensues, he and family survive to preside over the new colony but with misgivings as to how they attained it. Snore.
On to "On Chesil Beach" from which I expect far more.