And I’m back.

I’ve been on holiday for a week, diving in Gozo which was marvellous. Unfortunately, I then had an unrelated back injury immediately on my return which has led to be being pretty much entirely offline the last week and in a fair bit of pain, which was (and for another week or so will continue to be) less marvellous.


Not my photo I hasten to add, but I had views like it while there. Lots of fish to see, good visibility and the water was generally fairly warm. I’ve not posted a photo of someone with a bad back as it mostly involves lying on the floor and grimacing a lot while trying to get mobile again (which I now am thankfully).

Apologies therefore if I’ve missed any particularly interesting posts (and feel free to flag anything specific to me in the comments), but as I’m still recovering I’m probably going to have to be fairly ruthless in terms of what I read from when I’ve been offline.

On the more positive side, I have read some bloody good books while away. I’m now on the strength of A Glass of Blessings a confirmed Barbara Pym fan, and Charles Williams’ Dead Calm is much better than it has any right to be. Also, Clarice Lispector, OMG! as the kids used to say about ten years ago.

I’ll start posting up some reviews over the next two or three days, and start to catch up on some of the many posts I’ve missed while offline, but it may be a bit slow at first since I’m still not 100% and am now back at work and need to catch up on that first of course.


Filed under Personal posts

13 responses to “And I’m back.

  1. Hi Max… do hope your back improves quickly. Look forward to you relies on BPYM & Clarice Lispector – was the latter her newly released short stories?

  2. Glad you had a great holiday, Max. On the other hand, I’m really sorry to hear about your back injury. As a long-term sufferer of upper back and neck pain, I can empathise wholeheartedly…it’s pretty rotten.

    Wishing you all the best for a speedy recovery – it sounds as though you’re getting a bit of mobility back again, which is good news. Looking forward to hearing more about the books you’ve been reading (as and when, of course – take your time).

  3. Where is Gozo?

    There is no such thing as a blah Barbara Pym novel–every single one is a gem, and you already know how I feel about Charles Williams. There’s a film of the book if interested.
    Get well soon.

  4. It’s her final novel Poppy, absolutely brilliant. The recent Ben Moser translation.

    Jacqui, yeah, it’s a bit of a bastard, but so it goes. At least it should pass in a week or so. Sorry you’ve got similar or worse.

    Guy, it’s part of Malta, but a separate island smaller than the main one. I’ve seen the film of Dead Calm, I’ll discuss this when I get to reviewing it but the book is vastly more psychologically subtle. The film makes the bad guy a monster, same as an orc or a cyborg or whatever. The book makes him a human being one has some sympathy for. It creates a much more morally problematic scenario given he’s no less dangerous in the book.

    The Pym was an absolute delight. Really stands out from my holiday reading.

  5. Tredynas Days

    OMG, Max, sorry to hear of your woes. I was given the Lispector stories for my birthday recently, & look forward to reading her for the first time. I’ve not posted much lately either while abroad then back at work: haven’t much cared for my most recent reads: Patrick Gale, William Gerhardie & William Boyd.

  6. Thanks Simon. It’s just sore though and temporarily debilitating, it’s nothing serious or long term. Just one of those things that happen.

    I’ll definitely look forward to your thoughts on Lispector in due course. Gerhardie? Remind me? Sorry to hear you’ve had a bad run. I have the opposite problem, five books in the backlog and the worst of them is still pretty good, the best truly excellent.

  7. Tredynas Days

    Max: just posted my piece today on Gerhardie’s Of Mortal Love. I was at university with a postgrad who wrote what turned out to be probably the defiinitive biog of him, and she used to rave about him. On this recommendation I bought the PMC paperback secondhand years ago, and only just got round to reading it. I was disappointed: some excellent, polished prose, but morally and emotionally void, I thought.

  8. Sorry to learn of your back giving you much pain and isolation. I have a knee which is imprisoning me. Surgery is my only avenue to mobility I am told. You do manage a lot of reading . Wish I did best wishes. Olwyn Green

    Sent from my iPhone


  9. Simon, an interesting comment given the Morand review I just posted. Excellent, polished prose, but morally and emotionally void. The Morand though was still fun to read, which the Gerhardie doesn’t sound so much.

    Olywn, thanks. Kness can be a bugger, so good luck with the surgery. The reading was more because I was on holiday, diving holidays are surprisingly good for catching up on reading.

  10. Oh dear there’s been quite a few reports of people diving from the Azure Window. I hope you weren’t one of those. Anyways hope you liked Malta!

  11. Azure Window? I took that photo off the web, I’m pretty sure we only dived in places that were cleared for diving – we were with a reputable outfit.

    Didn’t see much of Malta, but Gozo was great for a holiday.

  12. Sorry I’m late reading this but September is always a busy month.
    I hope you feel better now and that this pain won’t come back anytime soon.

  13. Still recovering, work has been intense which has slowed things up a bit. Thanks for catching up with my last few posts!

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