Thursday, April 03, 2014

The Alfiedog interview

1. What did you like reading as a child?

I really enjoyed Science Fiction and Arthurian stories.

However in truth I read everything on my old dad's bookshelf. So there was

The Call of the Wild

Rubiyat of Omar Khyamm


Practical Mechanics

The Communist Manifesto

and Newsom Encyclopedia

The old man (47) died when I was seven and I felt closer to him when I was reading.

2. Who is your favourite author and why?

Jack London wrote such a variety of stories and he had such a wonderful vocabulary - the volcabulary of the self-taught. He reacted to people and ideas with undiminished wonder that he made them fresh on the page for me to read.

3. What are your recollections of English lessons at school?

On Friday afternoons Mr Owen got us all to sit quietly while he read The Hobbit to us. It gave me the idea that being a teacher was a wonderful job!

 4. You can take one book onto a desert island with you – which one do you take and why?

I could cheat and say The Bible but Desert Island disks usually excludes that. For the possible length of my stay it would have to be The Lord of the Rings with all the appendices. Perhaps I will get to read them all

5. What are you reading at the moment?

“Strangers and Brothers” by CP Snow. The whole series is like a myth of the English middle classes in the twentieth century. He was a scientist and a politician and the books span both those worlds in addition to the legal profession. The story of George Passant, "a child of his time" as he is called, is an introduction to the attempt of the provincial middle class to break out of their backwater isolation into the mainstream of British society. It is a story told with humour and compassion.

 6. Which book do you wish you had written and why?

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It has given so much pleasure to so many people. One day I want to do that!

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