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Sunday, 8 May 2011

Lost in a good book?

Bear with me.  In a few weeks I'm off to the Fforde Fiesta!  No, not dear Peter Sallis (who continues to go very well, thank you for asking, and if that sentence baffles you then where were you last week?), but the Jasper Fforde Convention, which will be held in the environs of Swindon.  I don't know why Swindon has environs.*  I'm not even sure what they are - aren't they those arrow shaped things that you get on the road?  Anyway, I'm going there, because I llluuuuurve, in a totally perverted and entirely unfamilyfriendly way, Jasper's 'Thursday Next' books.  And if you don't know what they are...well, I'm sorry, there's no hope for you.
This is one.  Yes, there are mammoths in it.  And dodos.  Try to keep up...

And one of the major points in these books is - interbook travel.  Imagine!  If you could visit a book, talk to its supporting cast, look around the locations..well, I suppose we are going to get to look around Swindon, hence the whole environs thing, but imagine being able to visit Manderley?  Or actually poke around inside some of the cupboards in Northanger Abbey?

So today, for I am editing and shouldn't even be here... I am going to ask the question "which book would you most like to visit, and why?"  Because, quite frankly, it's about time we had a bit of class on this blog, and that I made you think about things entirely unrelated to rubber underwear, Peter Sallis and cake.  Oh, all right, you can think about cake for a bit, but you are absolutely FORBIDDEN from thinking about rubber underwear.  Is that clear?

So.  If I were at liberty to visit any book, which would I choose to wander through, criticising the curtains and annoying the dog?  Hmmm.  I've always fancied popping round to Wuthering Heights and giving them a piece of my mind, but fear that I'd leave the characters rather confused and liable to randomly taking up playing the tuba or talking about verruca remedies.  Or I could run barefoot through the entire collection of M R James ghost stories, shouting "It's behind you!", and causing the pages of Canon Alberic's Scrapbook to flap loose in the wind of my passing.

This would be a whole lot less atmospheric with me in it.  Wearing a teacosy and a crotcheted minidress and singing 'Who Let the Dogs Out' at the top of my voice. Or I might surface in Pride and Prejudice, crayoning all over Mr Darcy.  Librarians everywhere would be nervous wrecks.

So, I ask you this, before I am dragged back into the editing process by my fingernails.... which book would you visit? And how much damage do you think you could do before they came after you?

* Apparently I am thinking of chevrons.


Debs Riccio said...

What a fabulous question, Jane! I think I might join you for a bit of Heathcliffian-baiting on the Heights, always had a soft spot for the rogue, and after meeting me, he'd be all "Cathy... who?" so there!
But my enduring fantasy will always be to go up The Faraway Tree with Bessie and Fanny and Dick (were they?) and meet Moon-face and Saucepan Head (was he?) and visit a land of make believe every time I climbed up there. And I still have a hankering for those popping biscuits they used to eat.
Damage? I daresay there'd be some but it wouldn't be down to me...!

Jane Lovering said...

Hmmm. Never thought of romping through children's books... could the Famous Five stand my comments on their 'lashings of ginger beer'?

Rosalind Adam said...

I went and read Debs' comment before writing my own and I wish I'd said that. I loved those Faraway Tree characters. But I now have to think of an idea of my own... I'm afraid it will have to be Tom Jones and, yes, I'd cause havoc but I'm not sharing the details. This is MY daydream! (Can't get the thought of rubber underwear out of my head now!)

mum in meltdown said...

Fab question and really had me thinking....still. One I would visit is In Cold Blood, not to cause havov but tell the two convicts it really wouldn't be worth it!! but aside from that there are a few I could really disrupt!!
Just found you via another blog and will definitely be following and looking up your books!!
Twitter @muminmeltdown

Jane Lovering said...

Rosalind - I am sooo hoping that the rubber underwear and Tom Jones are not connected, but I shall ask no further questions and leave the matter to your own conscience.

Mum in Meltdown - lovely to see you here! I've never read In Cold Blood but I like your idea of visiting just to tell the protagonists not to bother (and can think of many, many books where I'd like to do the same).

Debs Carr said...

I love this question, but can't choose only one. Am off to have a good think.

*The Old Geezer said...

Greetings from Southern California :-)

Elizabeth Currie said...

First of all let me say that there is no hope for me as I have no idea what these Jasper 'Thursday Next' books are, with or without mammoths, dodos (or dinosaurs?)!
Canon Alberics scrapbook flapping around with your passing wind did I read up there? Oh, no, wind of your passing ....! But at least I know my M R James better than my Jasper Fford (you wouldn't get me inside one of his stories now!).
So, that leaves me with 'which book?' The Bible: "Tell me Moses, did God really give you those tablets; was he in a burning bush and did the Red Sea actually part like that? aaaaagh, run for it ....
One of my favourite novels: Galwsworthy's Forsyte Saga I don't actually think I'd want to visit in person just to encounter the kind of hypocritical & stuffy world he so excellently writes (sort of French Impressionist London. OK. Don Quixote, said to be he 'first' 'modern' novel (wonder how many of those there are) & would definitely help with my 16th C Spain research!

Janice Horton said...

Jane - in recognition of your great blog - I've awarded you The Versatile Blogger award this week on my blog so do pop over to receive it. Janice x