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  1. I think I understand your name now. It's like an alcohol-free version of a book by John Irving, isn't it?
  2. Well, to start with, you could differentiate between your unimaginatively named children by calling one Billy, one Will and the other just plain old William. Then you could opt to practice a modicum of old-fashioned parenting by refusing to let them indulge in recreational drugs, at least 'under your roof'. It may sound harsh, but everyone will be happier in the long run. I wish every day could be pancake day........
  3. Remember the word 'little' is relative. Yes, your 'kitten' could be described as little, but only in comparison to a fully grown adult of the same species. Your junior sabre-toothed tiger demonstrates a surprising degree of resourcefulness by using his naturally impressive dental capabilities to pick the lock you have used to secure him into his 'pram'. He leaps out and, humiliated by the impractical and downright girly attire you have adorned him with, he gobbles you up whole. I wish I had a nice big chateau in the south of France, with a full compliment of household staff dedicated to my every need, comprised entirely of charming, literate and delightfully entertaining penguins. ---------------------------------------------- "Feche la vache!"
  4. Both you and the taxman are to be disappointed - I am not an incarnation of Carly, although I am aquainted with the young lady.
  5. Honest to g*d, I picked this sentence/passage entirely at random from the middle (p.385) of a copy of Ulysses. "Here the listener who was none other than the Scotch student, a little fume of a fellow, blond as tow, congratulated in the liveliest fashion with the young gentleman and, interrupting the narrative at a salient point, having desired his visavis with a polite beck to have the obligeness to pass him a flagon of cordial waters at the same time by a questioning poise of the head (a whole century of polite breading had not achieved so nice a gesture) to which was united an equivalent but contrary balance of the head asked the narrator as plainly as was ever done in words if he might treat him with a cup of it." How on this earth can such an unstructured, impenetrable and vague use of language be about expression? If he wanted to express himself, he'd have used more than about twelve full stops in the entire book. Yes, language is flexible. Yes, rules have to broken and the boundaries of acceptable means of expression tested. But this is deliberately esoteric - the man doesn't want to communicate, he's clearly either insane or having a good old belly laugh at all the literary snobs. I genuinely doubt that anyone has ever got through the whole 732 pages and thought anything other than "well that was a waste of time, how can I make up for all those lost days spent immersed in that narcissitic orgy of english words and multilated syntax? I know, I'll pretend to everyone else that its actually really inspirational, enlightening and (heck, why not) even enjoyable. Then everyone else will want to do the same, and for decades to come people will be agreeing with each other over what a genius James Joyce is and, if anyone disagrees, we can just laugh at how ignorant they are!" And that's how it (very probably) happened.
  6. I haven't actually read The Da Vinci Code. I listened to half of it on an audiobook and found the story itself quite compelling, if more suited in spectacle and campness to treatment in a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Why only half? Quite simple: Cardboard characters. Langdon is Indiana Jones! The French codebreaker woman is.... I don't know, she's popped up in way too many films and books for me to pinpoint her to one origin. Same for the dogged but noble policeman. If these characters were food, they'd be mashed potato without salt: There's nothing to chew on, and despite an appealing initial texture, they don't taste very interesting at all. How can anyone relate to these dull fantasy figures? How can anyone even read this book without laughing out loud at some of the dialogue, that sounds like it's been taken from a frantically-penned formulaic b-movie. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a literary person (obviously). I appreciate the importance of a compelling story. But that's not enough on it's own for me - I like real people, not comic book characters. How about a bit more imagination?
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