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.