Baggie Trousers

By SkaBaggie

A Lot To Learn

My current reading, helping me through many a quiet and rainy working day. It's The Dream Of Scipio by Iain Pears, whose previous novel, An Instance Of The Fingerpost, I read and enjoyed many years ago. I saw this one in a charity shop in Much Wenlock last month, and have started to get rolling with it over the last week or so.

The novel is set in France at three pivotal points in the history of Western civilisation, telling the separate (yet historically related) stories of a Gallic-Roman landowner with barbarians quite literally at the gate, a medieval poet attempting to grasp basic human truths as the Black Death closes in around him, and a twentieth century scholar and First World War veteran who finds himself coerced into joining the Vichy government in 1940.

Pears has a knack for making history tangible, and understanding the complexities of the human decisions and actions that can alter its course. The characters never fail to elicit sympathy even in their darkest moments, and the plot is packed with many a twist and turn.

If I could write half as well as this bloke I'd be a very happy man, but unfortunately I'm considerably below his league. In fact, I'm still playing in the park on a Sunday afternoon while he's on Match Of The Day.

Oh well. Maybe someday.

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