What books would I want to have on a desert island?
I have always found that to be a interesting game to play with myself.
In a perfect world, fantasy world that is,
I would land on an island populated sparsely,
I would wash on to the beach,
closely followed by my giant steamer trunk,
filled with books.
The desert island game would then become,
No, but, seriously.
I have considered this game many times over the years,
played it with friends,
To make it interesting I take five books,
two are very small.
All would fit in an overnight bag.
Obviously, a Kindle or some such device would be great,
because of storage capabilities but,
there is no electricity or power sources on a desert island,
and I’m no engineer.
84 Charing Cross Road because I love this book,
also it is tiny.
Number two, W. Somerset Maugham Collected Short Stories Volume 4
and it contains my all time favourite short story,
The Book Bag.
I would bring my favourite novel by my favourite novelist.
The World According To Garp by John Irving.
Also I would bring Rat Bohemia by Sarah Schulman.
I see it as a work of staggering power and originality.
Schulman is one of the best writers I have ever read,
and I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life rereading her.
So, that’s four.
I am very comfortable with these choices.
The fifth is tough.
The situation deserves analysis,
since I have recently been accused of over analysing,
I should figure this out.
I believe the fifth book should be a book I have never read,
just for the sheer discovery factor.
Also, it should be an acknowledged classic,
great work of literature.
It should be a tough read,
to keep me thinking, stimulated and prevent Alzheimer’s.
So upon analysis and reflection,
I have narrowed it down to three,
Moby Dick, Ulysses or War and Peace.
I have read none of these,
all are considered great and,
have been on my to be read at some point in my life, list.
All are one volume,
and fit the requirement of the overnight bag size.
So it comes down to,
do I want to spend the remainder of my days with,
a stoic New Englander, a weird Irishman or a Russian Count.
Do I want to read about obsession and the slaughter of Whales,
a drunken and poetic odyssey,
or the horror and heroism of war.
I think I would opt for Ulysses.
A hard and long read but, based on nothing but,
second hand info,
a happier read.
If any of you,
play or have ever played this game,
let me know your choices,
it would be fun.