Sunday, November 27, 2005


Toys In The Attic

Lately my son has taken to bolting up to the attic the moment I turn my back; when I trudge up there after him, I find him already galloping back down the steps, humming happily as he carries off some curio randomly grabbed from one of the boxes. It's his equivalent of hitting the flea markets.

Today's attic find: a 60th anniversary pack of playing cards issued by Penguin in 1995.

It's a lovely little deck -- anything designed after old Penguin paperback would be -- and each of the 52 cards features a different old cover from the 1930s and 40s. I actually remember where I bought the deck: on Canongate in Edinburgh, at R Somerville, an store dedicated entirely to rare and unusual playing cards. Sadly, after 18 years there, Somerville recently packed up and moved to France.

But for the card pictured above, at least, there's a happy ending. Aside from being a great title, I remembered Nick Hornby talking up Hangover Square in his Believer column a year ago. And guess what? Hangover Square is coming back in a new edition by Europa Books next month....

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