July 19th, 2006

SP Web Design

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Well, sadly, I am without my laptop, having had to drop it off for repairs. ("Then how are you able to post this?" you ask. When I dropped my laptop off at Abdullah's little kiosk, I noticed an internet cafe a few stalls down advertising 75 minutes for £1. It's worth it.)

The power jack is completely FUBAR. Fortunately, my housemate Rob has a trusted friend (also Rob) who works with laptops and electronics. Rob 2 determined that the job was beyond him, since it would require completely stripping the laptop to get at the plug; but, he highly recommended Abdullah on Queen's Way. "Tell him I sent you and he'll treat you well. If it's not worth fixing, he'll tell you instead of charging you a fortune." Turns out Abdullah believes he can do it under £80, barring complications, and will try to have it done for me by tomorrow.

In the meantime, I could not resist the lure of £1/75 minutes internet.
Relax!  Grab a Book!

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  1. Card, Orson Scott — Speaker for the Dead
  2. Bester, Alfred — The Stars My Destination
  3. Greene, Graham — The Power and the Glory

I was first introduced to Graham Greene in college with The End of the Affair. I eagerly wanted to read more Greene after that, but I just wasn't as proactive about my reading then as I am now. My next encounter with Greene didn't happen until about two or three years ago. I had suggested Greene as a potential author and nominated The Power and the Glory; JC nominated The Quiet American. I really didn't want to read the latter, as I don't enjoy reading about the Viet Nam conflict. The book club voted for The Quiet American, though. Turns out it is one of the best books I've ever read. Alas, we never did select The Power and the Glory, though it came close to being chosen twice.

The Power and the Glory may not be as powerful as The Quiet American, but that's like saying Julius Caesar isn't as good as King Lear—the comparison elevates the one without lowering the other.

In The Power and the Glory, Greene follows the final few months of disgraced priest in a southern Mexican state where organized religion has been banned and priests are being given the option to marry and stop practicing their vocation or be shot. Our priest is too cowardly to stand up and be martyred, won't marry and abandon his vocation, and won't flee the state because his sense of duty to the people keeps pulling at him. We follow his interactions with a variety of interesting characters, the effect they have on each other's lives, and the psychological and moral battles the priest suffers through as he sees the consequences of his continued presence as he is pursued by the police. It's a gripping read, not without a few ironic twists and startling surprises.

Greene is widely considered one of the greatest writers of the English language, and I don't think it's undeserved. He ranks right up there with Joseph Conrad (without the heaviness) and W. Somerset Maugham (with a dynamic sense of plot). If you haven't read any Greene, I urge you to.