Hunter S Thompson committed suicide on Sunday. I remember reading, Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, about twenty six years ago back in University. Gosh that makes me sound old, anyhow I was young, gullible and naïve, barely understanding much of what I was reading but, enjoying it immensely. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, both my children who are young but neither naïve or gullible have enjoyed watching the movie more than once. I suspect none of it is going over their heads.
Sunday was a beautiful sunny day to get outside. I went Tele skiing, unfortunately forgetting my camera. We drove down towards Barkerville turning off at the Peters Creek road which was ploughed for a change. We spent the day climbing the logged out slopes and skiing down or in my case practicing tele skiing and falling down. At one point I decided the hell with tele skiing. I started hanging out the with the younger members of our group practicing jumps and comparing how much air we were able to get. Apart from the tempoary noise of about twenty snowmobilers, whom we managed to chase off, It was a very relaxing day.
Not surprisingly, like best seller lists, and prize nomination lists, having your book nominated for Canada Reads vastly improves its sale. Two of the books, Leonard Cohen’s, Beautiful Losers and Margaret Atwoods, Oryx And Crake, I have already read. Out of the remaining three the one which appeals to me the most is Volkswagon Blues by Jaques Poulin.
by Jacques Poulin
translated by Sheila Fischman
published in 1984 by Cormorant Books
translated in 1988
Volkswagen Blues is a road story about a writer named Jack, in search of his brother, Théo. Jack picks up a hitchhiker, a young aboriginal woman, La Grande Sauterelle (named for her long, grasshopper-like legs) and her cat, Chop Suey. Together, they cut a circuitous trail from Montreal to San Francisco, and explore the history of European contact with the native people of the Americas. Their journey, written in a prose that has the half-sung and half-said quality of myth, also becomes a metaphor for the history of the French in North America. En route, the reader is introduced to a number of interesting and entertaining characters, including Sam Peckinpah, Saul Bellow, Al Capone and Auguste Renoir. Like many great novels, Volkswagen Blues is the journey of a man struggling to learn more about himself.