Monday, September 15, 2008


I am now reading the last third of John Lawton's masterly novel Second Violin. 
Captivated by the brilliance of his writing, his wonderful characters and his ability to deal with such a serious subject and yet inject so much humour into proceedings, I can't wait to move on in the series.  

'England-or so it seemed to me-was a paradise, a country without suffering, changeless, excluded from the common lot of mankind, a happy isle of lotus eaters'.

'Most amazing of all, there were policeman who carried no guns, called you 'Sir" and asked you to sit down when you went to report a change of address'.

Some may scoff at this sentimentality but I suspect to really appreciate England's green and pleasant land you need to have escaped Tsarist pogroms, Nazi atrocities or the grinding poverty and corruption of Southern Italy. 

'England is an amazing country. To anyone coming from the Continent it is a haven and a heaven. Gentlemen, it deserves our thanks. And its people our understanding.' 

Crimeficreader is really the expert on John Lawton and she has written fascinating posts with further links here and here. I don't agree with all John Lawton's reasons for writing about this subject at this time but I suspect he means well.

'Rod could not help but think it made him look like a Jewish Bud Flanagan about to sing 'Underneath the Arches' with Chesney Allen, until he remembered that Bud Flanagan was Jewish in the first place'. And a cousin [fourth or fifth I think] of Mr Crime Scraps. 
To be continued when I finish the book. 


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