Monday, February 06, 2006

To John Banville: Beware the smokin' pun

Kenneth J. Harvey e-mailed yesterday and said I might get a chuckle out of his piece in Saturday's The Times (that would be the one in London).

"Oh, I got more than a chuckle," I wrote back. "I emitted at least a couple of bona-fide belly laughs."

"I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it," he responded. "Please tell all your friends and everyone you've ever met."

This is for all of you who are weary of the million little news items about James Frey's mem-- uh, about James Frey's book:

AFTER READING JOHN BANVILLE’S Man Booker prize-winning The Sea, a slim volume trumpeted as fiction, I was startled to discover, upon perusing my hefty atlas, that this supposedly fantastical place named Ireland was an actual island. While reading, I thought it sounded familiar, yet I let it slide, not wanting niggling particulars to ruin the experience.

Stunned by my discovery, I was unsettled by other suspicions: What if the main character, this Max Morden, was an actual person. I explored the phone book and came up with four individuals bearing the name Maxwell Morden. Feeling more greatly duped, I telephoned the first three and demanded to know on what ground each stood. Yet despite repeated harassment, none would concede to being fictional.

Wickedly funny stuff. Click over to The Times Online and read the rest.

Thanks, Kenneth. This made a much better post than the one I was thinking about writing this morning.

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