I had an hour to kill between my acupuncture and chiropractic appointments and did not want to drive all the way home. So I went to Arlington Center to grab a bite to eat. I realized I had forgotten to bring a book with me, so first I stopped at the used book store next to the Regent Theater. I was looking for something that sounded interesting but was also short and likely to be a quick read. I ended up getting Lucy by Jamaica Kinkaid and The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford.
I also stumbled across a true find. I had never heard of the book or the author, but I had to get it: Falstaff: A Novel by Robert Nye. Apparently it won a couple of literary awards in Britain, the Hawthornden Prize and the Guardian Fiction Prize. Here is the description from the back cover:
Irascible and still lecherous at eighty-one, Sir John Falstaff, one of William Shakespeare's greatest characters, spins out these memoirs as an antidote to legend. Set in ribald, earthy, and violent Elizabethan England, Falstaff brings to life not just the man but the entire spirited era, in ways that history and the Bard of Avon overlooked. We learn what really happened that celebrated night at the windmill when Falstaff and Justice Shallow heard the chimes at midnight; who really killed Hotspur; how many men fell at the Battle of Agincourt; what actually transpired at the coronation of Henry V; and just what it was that made the wives of Windsor so merry. Falstaff finally "tells all" about Prince Hal, John of Gaunt, Pistol, Bardolph, Doll Tearsheet, and Jane Nightwork, and his great drama swaggers, laughs, and shouts across every page.