Sunday, June 05, 2005


Hiding In The Cottage

I often complain about the short reviewing cycle for books, and in Sixpence House basically groaned for several hundred pages straight about how some titles completely vanish from public view, so it's good to see an article over at the Boston Globe on the books buried within summer cottage shelves. Katherine Powers' recommendations include "the funniest, most poignant, and -- consider yourself warned -- preeminently disgusting of all the great dog books," J.R. Ackerley's 1965 memoir My Dog Tulip, the collection In A Darkened Room (which "distills 155 volumes of journals kept by the odious, addictively readable Arthur Inman from 1918 to his death, in 1963"), and the deathless petit-bourgeois satire Diary of a Nobody.

Better still -- now here's a rarity indeed in a Books section -- there's a recommendation for an obscure out-of-print book. The lucky resurectee is Geoffrey Household's 1968 novel Dance of the Dwarves, a novel which "purports to be the journal of a British agronomist whose skeleton has been found entwined with that of a young woman at an experimental station in Colombia."

It certainly sounds intriguing, and Powers isn't joking when she calls it "esteemed by a commited minority." I've never heard of it before, and very few mentions of Dance of the Dwarves turn up online, though it does appear to have been used as the titular pretense of a grade-Z 1983 movie starring, yes... Peter Fonda.

Oh, where is Mystery Science Theater 3000 when you really need them?

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