26 October 2010
'Time Value' versus 'Tristram Shandy'
Most of the time the Jascha who writes Jascha Writes is content to remind you less of his alter ego, the more tightly wound (or tightly winding) James Hulbert who wrote A Kiss Before You Leave Me, than of Tristram Shandy, who in Laurence Sterne's masterpiece (1759ff.) sets out to tell the story of his life, gets caught up in anticipation of his own conception and (for hundreds of pages) may or may not get around to being born: the character as (pure) narrator, almost, and surely the poster child for dilatory discourse. Sound familiar? If you started delaying your next coffee break when I promised you a friend's recipe for skinny cappuccino last month, you're well and truly weaned now; and if you started wondering a couple of days later why I cited Marguerite Duras' North China Lover rather than her earlier (and far better-known) book The Lover, well, you're still wondering. But that's all right. All in good time. Most of the time. But if I don't post something today about Nick Spalding's Life… With No Breaks, you risk missing out on big savings on it at Amazon.com, where it usually costs $2.99 but until the end of October is reduced to 89 cents, which is a steal even for a Kindle book. Nick Spalding is a high-profile UK indie humor author and blogger; Life… With No Breaks is currently the number 4 humor bestseller on the Amazon.co.uk Kindle list and deserves more readers internationally. (It even contains a glossary of UK-specific vocabulary. Readers in the UK, by the way, can get a deal, too: for a few more days, Life… is just 69p at Amazon.co.uk.) Now, is it an accident that I'm talking about Sterne and Spalding practically in the same breath? Not necessarily.