Friday, March 30, 2007

Framed. Frank Cotterrell Boyce

Have you seen the video for Jarvis Cocker’s ‘Don’t let him waste your time?’ Jarvis plays a singing cabbie with eyes rarely on the road as he ploughs down cyclists, pedestrians, anyone and anything who gets in his way, as he crones to the young woman in the back. The song has the line “But when some skinny bitch walks past in some hot pants”— the line’s a bit nasty but the delivery and whole tenor of the song makes the line both funny and oddly enough even tender. I stopped at a CD store in Johnsonville Mall yesterday on my way back home and they didn’t Jarvis’ CD. I wonder if CD stores will still be here in five years. I’m still not into downloading music.

I finished Frank Cotterell Boyce’s Framed the other night. If I remember right, Boyce’s Millions was one of the first books I noted in this blog (which I use to record what books I read and what I books I buy or am given). The plot of Framed, Boyce’s second novel, has many similarity’s to Millions: a strapped for cash family discovers a way out of their financial woes. Framed isn’t quite as exciting or as well paced as Millions—I wondered towards the end where the book was going. The storyline’s outrageous enough: Dylan, the only boy in a tiny Welsh village, meets Lester, a curator from the National Gallery in London who is storing all the paintings in a secret cavern in the mountain as London faces floods. Due to a misunderstanding concern the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Lester believes Dylan to be an art nut. Meanwhile, Dylan’s sister hatches a plan to steal Van Gogh’s Sunflowers from Lester so as to get their family out of the red and into the black. Boyce writing has a charming quirkiness and like Philip Ardagh I found it delightful.

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