Posts Tagged ‘Still Life With Woodpecker’


Filth, Ecstasy, Porn, Acid House, Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh

I have long since realized that reading Irvine Welsh novels and consuming hallucinogens are both fantastic experiences when done separately. Together they are quite the force to reckon with. Sort of like gulping down chicken soup for the soul…of course, granted that the soul’s purpose is to fornicate in filth and die slowly under a sweltering bleached sky. But don’t get the wrong idea, Irvine Welsh never sold packaged grime, he merely chronicled the extremities to which humans would go to achieve what they presumed to be contentment. From Ecstasy and Porn to Filth and junkie epic Trainspotting, each novel surpassed the other in terms of sheer audacity in story telling and to my satisfaction, made me feel dirtier in the process. And no matter what people tell you, you don’t need an Irish slang dictionary to figure out the conversations between his characters. You just need to have once had the urge to damage public property. I could put my grandma in a shitty old age home, bathe in the Coum River and kill a few orphaned puppies while watching Ingrid Bergman’s finest works on a satin bed and I’d still be nowhere close to experiencing the harmony in which filth and beauty exist in Welsh’s sordid tales.

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Planet Earth is a terribly dull place to read the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy. Not enough multi-purposeful towels, depressed robots and two-headed presidents, I guess. The galaxy he created in this novel was immense in dissimilarity to everything that science has bored us to tears with. Not since stumbling upon Lewis Carroll during pre-school have I know any author with such an affinity for absurdity. And even Carroll himself couldn’t have caught my attention if Alice In Wonderland had meandered on for over a thousand pages. With Douglas Adams’ novel, it was either ‘get bored with life or continue reading”. I read. And how.


Still Life With Woodpecker – Tom Robbins

During one of my visits to Blossoms in Bangalore, Tom RobbinsHalf Asleep In Frog Pajamas was thrust and my face with a familiar voice demanding that I read it or at once suffer the consequences. It was the same chap who once recommended that I give James Thurber a chance, so I had to trust him. The title however turned me off big time. I thought it was forcibly incoherent. Then I picked up another Robbins’ novel – Still Life With Woodpecker. Sounds less pretentious, I thought as I paid the money over the counter. As months flew by, I delightedly ate crow and a few of my shoes while devouring each one of his novels. As far as I’m concerned, Tom Robbins is one of the best hippie writers ever to crawl out of Americana. He didn’t just do it, holding a joint in his hand and saying, “hey man, the lights flicker like pink flamingoes having sex with Rolling Stones, man”. He poises himself and proceeds to hijack our attention with hilarious stories of love, lust, redheads, corporate bars, cigarettes, open-tops and ancient pyramids.

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