Daily Archives: March 10, 2011

Quick review: Murder in Samarkand by Craig Murray

Murder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador's Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on TerrorMurder in Samarkand: A British Ambassador’s Controversial Defiance of Tyranny in the War on Terror by Craig Murray
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a strange book – part political thriller, part confessional, part sexcapade. He isn’t a journalist and not really a hero, more like a normal person with faults but decides to not be part of the lies that feed the horrific work of US and British politicians and military strategists (terrorists). I was hoping it would be grittier.

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Precious, My Precious

Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud

One of two precious finds.

Yesterday I stopped by Franschhoek on my way back from Villiersdorp after dropping off the kids at their school camp. Found a small bookshop that was aptly named – Treasure House Books. It was in one of the few old buildings that have not been surrendered to the whims of so-called “developers” who relish introducing cold as aluminium structures. Stop me from ranting.

Back home – in Marikina – in October 2009, a week after the flood, I saw practically all my books had been thrown among the rotting belongings in front of my mother’s house.  I remember having a copy of Rimbaud’s Drunken Boat from New Directions. Well that boat didn’t survive the floods of Ondoy obviously. I also had a copy of Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago – unread – I was still preparing to meet up with the tragic Doctor one day.

Well in Franschhoek I chanced upon a copy of Rimbaud’s Illuminations, a 1957 third printing edition, still in remarkable state. A shelf down to it was Pasternak’s novel, a hard copy of the sixth impression, 1958 edition. And since no one was around to treat me, I treated myself to an early birthday gift. I feel like Gollum. It’s our birthday my precious!

-o-