I had a look at the Letterkenny Mail today and full of interest it was. Firstly it has a Polish column – which tells you something about the new Ireland. Upcoming events in this part of the world include the Karaoke Ireland Championships which are being held at the Voodoo Lounge in Letterkenny and the 50th Anniversary Congress of Alcoholics Anonymous. No sign of the Father Ted look-alike Contest – but then I haven’t enough hair.
Meanwhile, I’ve been re-reading old favourites as I tend to do in Donegal. I’ve gradually been revisiting Susan Howatch’s novels about the Church of England – this time Absolute Truths where the Bishop ‘purrs along as effortlessly as a well-tuned Rolls Royce.’
Susan Howatch is described as ‘every bit as good as Trollope’ by the Liverpool Echo. She seems much more interested in the theology – Trollope is mainly interested in the purity of ecclesiastical politics – and she seems fascinated by the idea that disaster lies in wait for smooth clerics. But if I had to choose, it would be Trollope because he captures the real cynicism of which the ecclesiastical world is capable.
I’ve dipped into Arthur Ransome’s Swallowdale – and must do something about getting a set of Biggles here. Life would then be complete.
Yes but the balancing thing is that I find that I can pick up any of them and open it at any page and have a sense of knowing where I am!
Don’t you think Howatch has the same effect as Ransome? That wonderful feeling when you realise the book you’ve just enjoyed is but one of many?
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