– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘The C Word’ blogtour, organized by Zooloo’s Book Tours.
To promote this book I have an excerpt, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Authors :
Steve Mosby, Sophie Hannah, Elly Griffiths, Sarah Hilary, Rob Scragg, Trevor Wood and many more.
So, what do writers do during Lockdown? They create murder, mystery, death and destruction of course!
The C Word is a collection of short stories collated during the COVID-19 pandemic to raise money for NHS Charities Together. A plethora of wonderful stories created by a wide variety of writers, each with their own unique style. Some you will know already and some we’ve yet to introduce you to. However, we’re sure you’ll want to hear from each & every one of them again as we leave 2020 behind us.
With contributions from Steve Mosby, Sophie Hannah, Elly Griffiths, Sarah Hilary, Rob Scragg, Trevor Wood and many more
100% of all royalties from The C Word will be donated to NHS Together Charities.
Lolita’s Lynch Mob
The reading group met on Fridays. Julie baked, badly it must be said. Timothy liked to experiment with herbal teas. They convened in the living-room, by the bay window.
Margaret, who had never got over the end of The English Patient, said, ‘Why does nobody do happy-ever-after any more?’
Everyone nodded, china cups chattering.
‘If it was up to me,’ Richard said, ‘Humbert Humbert would’ve been buggered to death by a bear.’
‘Grizzly,’ Julie approved.
‘Prison’s too good for some.’
Fervent consensus, the slop of coffee in saucers; the group felt strongly about this. They rarely disagreed amongst themselves, preferring to combine forces to tackle the chosen text, seeing themselves as the last (if late) line of defence when it came to literary justice.
It was a week after they’d finished with Lolita that Timothy made the discovery. He arrived waving a Penguin paperback of Nabokov’s novel. ‘Here, on page 308!’
They huddled around to look. Gone was Humbert’s tardy remorse as he listened to the children playing sans Lolita. In its place was a graphic description of his suffering at the paws of a big brown bear: ‘Ravished for a fifth time, I was cast aside with indifference, knowing my fate to be both poignant and just.’
A flurry of excitement followed, as the group hunted down as many copies of the novel as they could find, old and new, each time discovering the same thing, that their wish had come true. Lolita now ended with the ursine sodomy of Nabokov’s nasty narrator.
‘Well,’ said Julie. ‘What a turn-up.’
It wasn’t just the novel which had achieved this surprising transformation following their energetic vilification of the text. Both film adaptations of Lolita had miraculously altered to reflect their preferred denouement. The James Mason version used a careful cut-away as the bear swaggered onscreen. The more recent adaptation was less diffident. The look on Jeremy Irons’s face, they all agreed, was priceless.
‘We did it,’ Timothy said, between elation and dismay. ‘We changed the ending, forever.’
‘What’re we reading next?’ Richard rubbed his hands.
Margaret held up The Handmaid’s Tale. ‘Do you really think we should..?’
‘Lolita might’ve been a fluke…’
‘That’s true. I mean, what’re the chances of it happening twice?’
‘I’ll bake a lemon drizzle,’ Julie promised.
Two months later, they reconvened. Sheepish looks were exchanged. No one liked to say anything. The news blackout was a blessing. They could only guess at how bad things might be in the world beyond their village.
‘No cake, Julie?’
‘No eggs, Tim.’
‘Ah. Well, it’s definitely your colour.’
The Magic of Wor(l)ds