Monday, December 12, 2011

The Black Marble by Joseph Wambaugh 1978 and a Memory

I have been given a few bags of books (love getting books, don't you?) and looking through them discovered a few that I had read and several new ones which is always good news. One book in particular jumped out at me, as I picked it up a memory shot into my head and lingered long enough to create a few chuckles and that day is still as clear now as it was then, yikes must be a good 20 years ago now.

Choose a deserted beach, my DH and I were in Agadir, Morocco where beaches seem to go on forever. Along with a simple packed lunch, a few cold beers and ready to settle in for the day  just soaking up the sun, relaxing with great company and a great book, in my case this was The Black Marble (Joseph Wambaugh). I had been itching to read this for ages but my DH got to it first and kept given me occasional snippets from it. Finally by mid-afternoon  he finished and handed it over, immediately I got comfortable (that was the days when I could lie and read on my stomach.) Page 25, I am engrossed and was reading the following passage. “Then he looked at Mavis, fifty-one years old going on sixty. Skin like sizzling pancake batter, two eye jobs already. Hair dyed the colour of puppy shit, with”..............
And then, I along with DH were drenched in a wave that took us both by total surprise along with our clothes, towels, and everything else that was lying around! The one thing the wave never got was my book as I refused to let it go even when the wave came for us a second time and by this stage it was turning back into a lump of wood. I ran up to a dry spot, placed the book on a stone and then spent the next 20 minutes collecting all our stuff which was floating willy nilly.
For the next two days I managed to read and finish my book by peeling off  each page, scraping of the sand  and keeping one eye on the waves.
I think I might just have to read it again, but a sandless one this time. If your looking for something funny and moving, caustic and sometimes savage, realistic and occasionaly tragic, all very skilfully woven into a novel that is as human as it is dramatic.
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