Travel Arrangements, 2012

This was taken off The Strand, London, UK.

Travel Arrangements  is a collection of short stories by M. John Harrison. It was published in 2001.

This was the first book I read by M. John Harrison, and it hooked me immediately. I could bore you rigid about how much I like his writing. (In short: a lot). Anyway, there are more comprehensive collections out there, but like a good mix tape this one tantalises and taunts and whispers, “Go on, read everything he’s written. You know you want to.”

The Guardian says: “Harrison presents an England where the dead offer you cups of tea, Soho couples wear axes in their heads as a fashion statement and the roads are deserted enough for lonely men to race cars down the M4.” Go on read everything he’s written; you know you want to…

Here’s the second paragraph of the first story, Old Women:

Like her friends they had short, roughly cut hair. They were all vegetarians and this gave them the energy of girls. They wore quilted Chinese silk jackets with a yellow woolen tam o’ shanter and a long squarish skirt they had made themselves from some odd black dressy material. (Under this their knees appeared at surprising angles when they sat down.) They went regularly to church, but, to the suppressed fury of the vicar, would not repeat the parts of the creed that offended them. They believed in the power of mussel shell extract, and the imminent arrival of a ‘Master’ who would come from Venus; they believed that the military aircraft which roared all day a hundred feet above the moor were knocking holes in the atmosphere.

In our house, the book can be found: sitting room, left-hand bookshelves, third shelf down.

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Thank you, once again,  John and Deanne for making me tinker with titles. Extra thanks to Deanne for  tag ideas etc. And to Terry for sending me in the direction of the shelves in search of ideas, and of course, as always, to Richard at CK Ponderings for being a super-cool collaborator.

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