Thursday, 30 April 2009

It's Like Bloody 'War & Peace'! In Fact, It Is!

I have a few books to still review, and I'm halfway through reading a book at the moment that's going slow because I'm not that into it, and anyway, I'm lethargic, generally, in my life, right now. I turn 40 soon. I'm getting stressed. I need a girlfriend.

Anyway, after reading The Costello Memoirs on a dare, I was reminded of a time many years ago, I was about 24 I think, living in Athens, Greece, when a mate dared me to read Les Miserables in 48 hours. I accepted the dare, and did it, having only a few hours sleep and a hell of a lot of coffee.

And today I thought to myself, "What happened to that plucky young literary kid?" and the answer was, "He approached 40, discovered hair was starting to grow out of his shoulders, and panicked." But as Dylan Thomas said, I must rage, rage against the dying of the light. Being lead singer of a punk band that does the sex, drugs and rock and roll shit when we play helps, but we're not gigging much right now, so I'm going to get my kicks in my own old way...

I plan to read War & Peace in 48 hours*. Not sure when yet, maybe next weekend, but soon, in any case.

I have it in hardback. It's a tad under 1400 pages and the font is small. You could put my hardback version in a gymnasium and do reps above your head. Like a black man's appendage in 70's porn, I am intimidated by its size.

Anyone want to offer incentives? Back when I did 'Les Miserable', my mate said if I could do it, he'd take me out for a coffee. Yes, I did it for one coffee (I chose a frappe because it was summer in Greece, and for some reason, the Frappes over there are fucking incredible and 1,000,000 times better than anyone else's... so are their tomatoes and mangoes), and it was the lure of the frappe that kept me going at 4am when struggling through one of Victor Hugo's many tangents (like, his 90 page tangent on the history of the Parisian sewerage system, which in fact was more interesting than you'd think).

Any incentive will make this easier for me. Thank you in advance for your sponsorship.

PS: What do you think of my new picture up top?

*I would start on a Friday night after work, and finish Sunday evening or in the wee hours of Monday.


Ramon Insertnamehere said...

War and Peace is such a great book, it would be a shame to read it within such an absurd timeframe.

It should be sampled slowly, like a fine wine.

Perseus said...

I drink to get pissed.

Melba said...

I'll send you a prize from the local op. shop.

I prefer the other picture actually. And that's not that one you bought is it?

Desci said...

I'll give you respect. Well, my continued respect.

Perseus said...

A prize from the op shop and some god-damn respect! That could be enough.

The picture is not the one of Artemis that I bought at the exhibition, though when I eventually get that picture I might put it up.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

You worry me, Pers.

You really do.

Samantha said...

The sea is excellen, but am not sure about the sky and the chick. They blend in too much.

I'll send you an augie march cd :D

... or a book
you only seem to read sensible books - i'll send you something trashy - sci-fi or fantasy

Samantha said...

ha! i figured it out - what irritated me about the painting - the sun is to the left and she is standing behind some whopping great rocks - there should be shadows

Melba said...

How are you going there? Eyes drying out and drinking far too much coffee?

Look forward to the result and will make some time to select something spesh from the shoppe.

oldeboots said...

I don't know you, and I don't even know where you are, but I do like to read what you have to write. It saves me having to read Peter COstello.

I'll buy you beer if you tell about Tolstoy.

Perseus said...

I'm scheduling this mammoth task for the weekend of June 6 & 7.

Plenty of time for more pledges.

So far:

* Desci's respect
* Gift from Melba's op shop
* Augie March CD from Samantha which I'll use as a coaster
* A beer from oldeboots
* A foot massage from Melody (File Under Miscellaneous) but she was too chicken to post it here, so she emailed the pledge.

I'm happy with this. Thank you one and all.

Cath said...

If you do this, and remain sane, I will offer you naming rights to my first born son.

Melba said...

Oh I thought you were doing it this weekend for some reason. But that's ok, gives me plenty of time to get something really "special."

Kettle said...

An excellent project, Perseus. I can offer you small-scale public glory: you will be my human interest story for the weekend of June 6 and 7.

If I was an envious person I'd offer my envy as well. A whole weekend to read? Can we swap lives?

Perseus said...

Swap lives for a weekend, ay? You'd have to feed my cat, keep the house tidy and beat off the naked groupies that are always trying to get into my bed.

Wait... Hang on.

Sorry, that last bit was a dream.

Melba said...

What kind of cat do you have? Colour? We are researching a kitten. I know, I know, madness. But children demand animals, as many as possible. And we have done well to hold off so long. Can't do another dog, but maybe a kitten. Aw.

Perseus said...

Black and white fat moggy, free to good home. She's 12 years old and healthy and robust. I haven't taken her to a vet for about 8 years. Don't buy one from a pet shop... just ask around friends and wait until some moggy has kittens, and just take it. Moggy's are healthier. I had a Siamese once - great cat, but often ill.

Melba said...

Thanks. I heard Siamese have an awful meow as well. I don't like the way they look anyway.

I just want a cat, a normal cat. But I am partial to the long-hair ones. Stupidly I mentioned ragdolls to the kids, next thing they're online researching and falling in love with a range of cats that it seems you can order by the colour?!

I never would buy a pet from a pet shop. They come from puppy/kitty mills.

Is moggy short for something? What are the distinguishing features? Is it the feline version of mongrel? I am so ignorant.

Perseus said...

Yes - moggy is a mongrel. It's just a cat of no breed. They are the healthiest, and if you look vonline or in the newspapers on a weekend, you'll find hundreds free to good home. One other piece of advice (I've had cats my whole life)... get them at 6-7 weeks old, never older.

squib said...

My pledge: I will send you a book

Wait, I already did that

This is great, I don't have to do anything

Melba said...

Ok thanks Perseus for the cat advice. There was a house we were going to apply for but they couldn't say that we could have it for longer than a year, or two max. We need longer otherwise why move out of here?

So cat thing is on hold for the mo. But I will keep everything in mind for when it's all systems go.

Aesophia said...

I to will send you a book, and not of the what-PQ-regularly-reads variety...

If you like :)

Andy Pants said...

I'll give you a half empty bottle of male perfume that my first girlfriend bought me and I never used again after I was dumped.

It's petty classy pefume. She was rich.

shitbmxrider said...

A cask of the best cheap wine I can find at my local Dan Murphys

Melba said...

A big weekend coming up, n'est-ce pas? Are you still angling to do it then? What sort of preparations are you making? Getting food in, or cooking and filling the freezer? Some early nights this week? Push ups?

Samantha said...

Is this the big read weekend? I have the CD in readiness of success.

I enjoyed the book by the guy who sat down and read all twenty volumes of the oxford english dictionary. It was funny. Took him a year. Screwed up his eyesight. Had to get glasses. Blinding daily migrines. Surrounded by strange people sitting in the bowels of library reading rooms. I had no idea people collected dictionaries before then.

I am expecting many blogs throughout the 48 hour period.