Thursday, March 15, 2007


Altitude Sickness at Sea Level...

One of the funniest novels in the English language is unquestionably The Ascent of Rum Doodle by W.E. Bowman. First published in 1956, it concerns the misadventures of a British climbing expedition as it attempts to reach the top of a secret 40,000½ foot high mountain. Think Monty Python, Ripping Yarns, Spike Milligan, J.B. Morton or Maurice Richardson to get an idea of the flavour of this book. It is absurdist satire in the best tradition: deadpan, highly inventive and just plain silly.

To my shock I discovered that Wikipedia has nothing at all to say about W.E. Bowman (I have come to regard Wikipedia as the fount of all knowledge). By chance I managed to get in touch with Bowman's son and we plan to remedy this lack and write a Wikipedia entry together. I was also astonished -- rather more than I ought to be -- to learn that Bowman lived in Swansea during the Second World War! This photo shows my own copy of Rum Doodle next to a glass of mocha in my favourite local coffee shop. The tiger belongs to Monica.

Rum Doodle has been translated into Danish, French, Italian and Spanish, but a Portuguese edition doesn't yet exist. Hence I have recommended it to Livros de Areia. They might take it, they might not, but that's not my decision. If they do take it, I will have done another service to the furtherance of grandly comic literature. Well done, me!

yey Rhys!
/me Cheers!
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]