Thursday, February 9, 2012

Miss Hargreaves

Some people make things up and then end up believing them.  My older brother is one.  Some can will something to happen, and within a short period of time, it happens.  A few times it's happened to me although I don't really believe I had anything to do with it.  Other people make up crazy stories and as the actions are created in their mind, they are happening in front of their eyes.  Such is the case with Norman.

Norman is the protagonist of the novel Miss Hargreaves by Frank Baker, and along with his friend Henry creates an older lady named Miss Hargreaves.  The two of them were on vacation in Ulster and created her in the spur of the moment to pull the leg of a sexton.  Many details were added to their 'little' lie, and much to their surprise, along came Miss Hargreaves in the flesh to their town.

A little bit Pygmalion, a little bit Frankenstein, with a splash of  magical realism, this book was so much better than I'd expected!  I had heard of it several times from Simon at Stuck in a Book, and actually bought the book more than a year ago, but it wasn't until I moved here, and brought it along in one of my steamtrunks that I took the time to read it.  Something I regret now!  In his review he mentions there isn't a dull moment and he's absolutely write.  When you think of the premise, you wonder how will this excite me for 317 pages, but excite me it did!  I was moved, felt agony, happiness, sorrow and wanted more.  It begs the question: What would happen if one of your false stories came true?

I also love a good story about someone not quite on their rocker.  Look at the only five films I brought with me over here, films I can watch over and over again:  The Hours, Bright Young Things, Amelie, Grey Gardens and Strangers with Candy...if you have a similar love of people who find it difficult to make a distinct line between the real and the immaginary, I think you will love this book as much as I did.

And how about a clip, one that never gets old, that I like to watch at least once a month?


John Going Gently said...

just had a most enjoyable flit through your blog on this a bloody awful wet and cold day
thanks for that!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful writing, as always, Daniel.
Apropos, I was once buttoning my cuffs looking out into the garden and thought "hmmmm... those two maples over the fence are really shading the flower beds. I'll have to talk to my neighbor about the possibility of removing them." When I got home from work, poof! they were gone!
Magical thinking?

the designers muse said...

Love the photo above; it hilarious. Also the book sounds interesting...will put on my to read list.

StuckInABook said...

Oh, but how could you have ever doubted?! I am so glad you loved this as much as me - I feel forlorn that there are not more pages with her on. It seems impossible, somehow, that there are not.

I watched the clip, and was enthralled - this is the sort of tv I lap up - but I have not the smallest idea where it is from?! More, please, more!

And what a wonderful picture. I do love the scrapbook eccentricity of your blog.

Anonymous said...

i'm currently reading "the snow child" about a homesteading couple in 1920's alaska who build a child out of snow and then see a real child in the woods. the question is, are have they gone crazy from the cold and the isolation or is the child real... i don't know yet because i haven't finished it, but it falls into that wonderful category of what is real/what is a dream.

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