16 August 2009

Thrills and Chills in Printed Pages

I am one lucky lady. A lucky lady who will be sticking to her liberal principals, despite the Thatcherites luring her to their blue hue with inky temptations...
I was given an all access pass to the most amazing crampypants space in the literary world, and for this I am thankful. It is even better than the wardrobe that leads to Narnia.

It is The Book Cupboard.

Crammed to the rafters with brand spanking new, yet to be published books that I lovingly (albeit rather manically and excitedly) liberate from their Jiffy bags and heavy-duty cardboard packaging. If only you knew what these awestruck wide-eyes have seen - from the latest Margaret Atwood, to a proof copy of the new Barbara Kingsolver, to a children's anthology of Carol Ann Duffy poems, to a graphic novel of the life of Bertrand Russell, to a translation of a Japanese modern fairytale about a woman whose toe turns into a penis, that has been highly acclaimed by readers, literary critics, philosophers and academics alike, to Alan Bennett, Nick Hornby, John Banville, Joshua Ferris... I could go on. All pristine, and in varying degrees of completion. And I get my grubby mitts on all the above before the general public can even glimpse 'em.


I had a Bad Book Cupboard Experience. Yes, the cupboard of my dreams (even better than Carrie's Sex and the City closet) may have turned against me.

All alone, ensconced in said cupboard and pretending to be bookseller/philosopher Audrey Hepburn in Funnyface, I was opening a new book. A thriller. I read the blurb. It was about a young boy who writes to an imprisoned murderer, asking where the body of his butchered uncle is buried. I'd just comprehended the basic plot when out falls a piece of paper from inside the book - a handwritten note in pencil that asks a murderer where a body is buried... Then another bit of paper fell out. A biro scrawl from a prison inmate, replying to the boy.

Totally freaked me out. They looked real. Genuine. Not mock-ups. Sick joke? Marketing strategy? Most likely. But chilling nonetheless.

I shall not be reading this book.

1 comment:

Ma said...

Sounds just your cup of tea - but not the last bit.