Sunday, June 08, 2008

End of Intermission

Hello again. I've not been away, I've just been blogging lazy. You know how it goes, you just can't get past that feeling of ennui, and it's just too much effort to open the laptop and log in. It happens to the best bloggers and goodness knows I'm far from the best.

I've edited the list of books read and it's not very impressive, is it. Anyway fuck it, I enjoyed them. Except Island of Terrible Friends by Bill Strutton. This book was published in the 1961 when the World War II was fresh in people's minds and there was a market for memoirs and biographies of the great war heroes. I remember as a boy being an avid reader of the biographies of war heroes like Leonard Cheshire VC and others. Anyway this book was the story of a surgeon, Major James Rickett,based on Island Vis off the coast of then Yugoslavia during the latter part of the war when the Yugoslave partisans, backed by units of allied troops, used Vis as a base for harrying the Germans on the adjacent islands of Brac, Hvar, and Korcula as well as the mainland around Split.

Frankly it was a poor read. I learned almost nothing about Major Rickett other than what he did, and that he was a brave and professional surgeon and soldier. The author treats his subjects with a superficiality that is deeply frustrating and one wonders why, when (as stated in the acknowledgement) he was greatly assisted by Dr. Rickett and his wife, he never got past recording events to ask about the lives behind them. Nevertheless it was in other ways instructive in its descriptions of the occupation of Vis by the partisans and their allies and the bravery of their actions in the the campaign to defeat the Nazis in Yogoslavia is reflected in some measure in the book. About the inhabitants of Vis, i.e. the native islanders I learned nothing at all, which is a pity as that is what I'd learn a little more of when I bought it.

1 comment:

kimbofo said...

Hey, welcome back -- i had wondered what happened to you!