Friday, 13 December 2013

DANIEL CURZON - HALFWAY TO THE STARS


Synopsis/blurb........

Based on real events, unforgettable. debunking chapters of today told by a long-term, snarky gripman on San Francisco’s cable cars, tales you won’t hear in most places where Political Correctness trumps real-life observations, especially about people playing race and ethnicity “cards,” made salty, honest and very funny, as told by the “grumpy gripman” narrator, who finds himself in the so-called Land of Free Speech, but where it is always other people who tell you what can say and even think, despite your own experiences.

The tale of One-Tooth or the little ghost boy or the elderly twin sisters or the Chinese dishwasher or Bitty the pet rat or Machete Man or a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence will put a lump in your throat or possibly blow up your P.C. meter. Might appeal to those who are “progressive,” depending on the issue, conservative,” depending on the issue, or neither, and tired of being forced to choose one or the other.

Another day, another book and another new author for me to try. Daniel Curzon according to his Wikipedia entry is a novelist, playwright, educator, and writer of etiquette manuals for gay men.” His 1971 book – Something You Do in the Dark may be considered as one of the first gay protest novels – it’s the tale of a gay man’s attempt to avenge his entrapment by a Detroit vice squad police officer by murdering him. (I quite like the sound of this one TBH !)

Back to Halfway To The Stars then. We have pretty much the diary of a grumpy cable car gripman. We suffer with him during his daily dose of never-ending interfaces with San Francisco’s diverse population. Drunks, gang members, the elderly, blacks, Hispanics, Orientals, politicians and perverts all cross his path daily and all seem to irritate him in one way or another. There’s some sadness to accompany his bitterness as he rages against all things politically correct.

I think I could empathise with him, as I sometimes have the same dark thoughts myself. Maybe as I get older I’m becoming less tolerant and more irritated by society in general.

Curzon whilst venting his fury is extremely funny at the same time, on that basis 4 from 5.


Accessed via the Net Galley website.

10 comments:

  1. Well, funny is always good - I was quite surprised when you ended the review by telling us that, it hadn't sounded that funny.... I think I like the sound of the earlier one too - can you get hold of that one, and read it, and review it for us please?

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    1. Moira, I was entertained at least - funny, sad, angry - all good emotions when reading.

      I haven't even looked at the scarcity or availability of his earlier book, but it is something that seems up my street. Maybe not something I'm likely to find browsing Smiths!

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  2. Col - That sort of better perspective can really be witty if it's done well. I'm glad you found it entertaining. And it's interesting that this one's a fictionalised account of real events too. I may look this one up.

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    1. Margot thanks - a kind of slice of life book, I hope you like it if you take the plunge.

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  3. Col, I don't know if I'll want to read this because I suffer "a daily dose of never-ending interfaces" with my city's population too not to mention becoming "less tolerant and more irritated" with society in general. Yes, I'm already there, Col!

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    1. Prashant, it's reassuring to get confirmation that I'm not the only one!

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  4. Who hasn't become irritated with society yet? As I get older, I find myself less tolerant of a lot of things and speaking out more too. As for this book, sounds interesting but alas not for me.

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    1. Keishon, another fellow grump! Yes, I suppose you don't need to read it for confirmation.

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  5. Sounds interesting but don't know that I would venture to read it.

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    1. Tracy, no problem - I've read it for you!

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