I New Year resolved to make a start on This Thing Of Darkness this morning. I've been a bit intimidated by it because it is so rare these days to see a book weighing in at nearly 750 pages that doesn't involve dragons, elves, runes and quests.
As I cracked the spine, I noticed that Harry Thompson also wrote a Biography of Peter Cookthat I read and rated highly years ago. I'm a huge admirer of Cook (see Icons passim) who will have been dead for twelve years a week from tomorrow. For all the jokes and fun, Cook's story is a tragedy. The book charts his giddy precocious rise, and the precipitous drink-fuelled fall that ended in his death.
I remember telling Kim about the book back in 1998.
"It is heart breaking to read the story of a talented man throwing his life away through booze," I said.
"Really?" she trilled innocently. "Did someone give the book to you as a present?"
Touche. If there is anything worse than being misunderstood by a woman, it is being understood by a woman.
(P.S. John McWhorter explains the peculiar title of this post here.)