I'm now on Twitter. I resisted for several years but finally gave in a week ago; partly out of curiosity, but mainly because I was beginning to feel like a Luddite. After a few days in the Tweetosphere, I now realise what has happened to those bloggers who became increasingly quiet during the last couple of years.
I can see the uses of Twitter. A journalist friend of mine loves it, as he can canvas opinions, publicise interviews and shamelessly network. By the time he arrives at his desk, he has rubbed shoulders with thousands of fellow Londoners, checked out the latest business news and caught up with the trade gossip. By the time I arrive at my desk, I have passed a dead badger and wondered why people are now saying "Back in the day".
I'm not sure if I'm suited to Twitter. Sometimes it feels as if I'm at a party and although many of my favourite people are there, it's not quite working because I have to shout to make myself heard. It feels very ephemeral - a sometimes exciting, but an all-too-brief encounter, compared to the enduring relationships of the blogosphere. Perhaps I just need to give it more time.
One thing Twitter is very good for is posting amusing book jackets:
It sounds quite exciting and the couple in the photo look very animated, but a big bucket of cold water is thrown over the whole thing with the authors' names: Leonard P Barnett and Douglass A Griffiths (just so we don't confuse them with all the other Leonard Barnetts and Douglas Griffiths's).
There's certainly no adventure, unless you include trying to cop-off with someone under the disapproving glare of Leonard Barnett.
But if you're worried about young people falling under the spell of pop music, with its lustful rhythms and licentious lyrics, here is the answer:
As a bookseller, I missed out on the subgenre of novels related to the Salvation Army rock scene. Ignore it at your peril.
After church youth groups and Salvation Army pop concerts, marriage is surely inevitable and doesn't every young woman dream of a pipe-smoking, alsatian-holding man in a v-neck pullover and sta-press trousers that glow in the dark?
Look at him. He's every woman's fantasy:
I expect he has a lint-covered Murray mint in the deepest corner of his trouser pocket and a young male lover in the youth branch of the Bible Study group, but Avril won't know this until she's tidying out his wardrobe and discovers the gymnasium photos.
Bitter and disillutioned, Avril will put her old life behind her and embark on a new voyage of discovery:
This book was published in 1969:
One of the least-offensive limericks goes as follows:
There was a young lady of Cheam
Who crept into a vestry unseen
She pulled down her knickers
Likewise the vicar's
And said: "how's about it, old bean?"
As far as I know, there was no reprint.
As I've commented before, between the Lady Chatterley trial and the advent of AIDS, the media world appeared to have been obsessed with sex. Even classics weren't exempt:
Published as part of the 'Boudoir Book Selection'. I love the way it says 'COMPLETE AND UNABRIDGED', implying that some very saucy bits have been left in. I wonder how many people bought this book in hope of some titilation, only to find themselves being lectured about political corruption during the reign of Louis Napoleon?
Finally, a novel which may strike a chord with zombie fans:
"Man, she had a shape to make corpses kick open caskets - and she was dead set on giving me rigor mortis".
I can't think of anything to add to that.