His name is Tom Holt, he’s British and he seems to have a fairly decent sense of humour. I had run across Mr. Holt a few times in the past, but I got to know him more personally only this Saturday.
I was on the verge of going out of my mind at that point. Crossword seems to only stock books filled with tragic tales of woe. Comedy does not deserve a Pulitzer, apparently. The Nobel Prize can only go to those who revel in sorrow. Laughter does not merit a Man Booker*.
So there I was, going frantically from bookshelf to bookshelf in search of something that would stop me from reading the Zadie Smith I’d borrowed (it’s called White Teeth, opens on a suicide attempt by the protagonist and talks about his failed marriage and subsequent divorce within the first 20 pages). I desperately wanted to summon the Lemon Law, but for that I needed something to fall back on. And while I briefly considered Rushdie’s Ground Beneath Her Feet, it was only a passing attraction – Salman is good and all, but I’d quickly dump him for someone funnier. Like Terry Pratchett – but he hasn’t written anything since Wintersmith.
Thankfully, Mr. Holt came to my rescue with The Portable Door. It has a very intriguing plot summary on the back page, a very entertaining introduction of the author on the front and a first page that didn’t make me feel suicidal.
I think this might just be the beginning of a beautiful romance.
*Isn’t it odd how NO comic writing has been awarded by the Big Boys of Literature? I’d have thought that making people laugh is more deserving of a Nobel Prize than say, making people cry and getting the writer death threats from religious fanatics. But then, that’s just me. I say strange things all the time.