Sunday, 26 February 2012

How Could I Forget?

Talking about things that took my breath away, I am now desperately in love.

With the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. I've spoken to at least two people who have tried to read the books and failed. They couldn't make it past the first one. And therein lies the problem.

The first one is kinda heavy and does not give much indication for how the rest of the books are going to be.

I was lucky. While in JB, bumming around, patting my sick dog on the head and making paella (not the seafood type but the kind with chorizo sausages), I stumbled across the sixth book in the series - In The Company of Cheerful Ladies.

Nice title. I could use the company of cheerful ladies. Or cheerful anything. So I took up the book and the first chapter itself had me laughing so hard my gut hurt. I tried reading it out to my Mum. But when I find something funny, I tend to get incoherent. So in between splutters of laughter punctuated with the occasional word.

"He...hahahahaha...left....hahahahaha....his....pants....hahahhaha...under....hahahahaha...her bed."

"She....hahahaha....had been.....slowly crushing him......hahahahahahaha...with her weight."

Oh my God! I gasped and gulped and Mum looked on uncomprehendingly. I guess you got to read it for yourself in context. Or watch the Jill Scott movie (which Addy assures me is excellent).

Anyway, I just love the pace of the books. How it is slow, ponderous; how it has heft and weight; the thought given to problems that detectives in developed countries would neither consider nor bother about. The endless cups of bush tea and slices of fruitcake. Leaving the office early when you want to get home and spend some time alone.

The words that are used in polite Botswana society - the words of greeting, the words of inquiry....the predominance of a "traditionally built person". The little white van she loves so much. Her intelligence in tackling seemingly insurmountable problems. Her intuition. Her secretary (later promoted to assistant detective, Grace Makutsi). How everything seems to be forgivable. People make mistakes and only few of them are truly evil.

I can't get enough.

I came back from JB and while in the throes of a very debilitating cold and rushed to buy the first book before settling down in bed at home, sick and feverish. And then I bought the second. And then I bought the third. All in three days.

And then my Martha Beck arrived in the post, a welcome distraction and I thought...good. I'll have to take a break. Otherwise I'll get through all 12 in 12 days and it will be the end of Lord of the Rings all over again. That vague sort of depression and nothingness (except that I know the 13th book will be out in about 40 days or so, so it's not the same thing).

OK, I have to go now. I just learned that an invitation for lunch was actually an invitation for dinner. Which means that I'll have to go get something for lunch now.

Later for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment