Thursday, 2 December 2010

Inkblots, Jelly and a Hungry, Hungry Hippogriff

I haven't had anything in the Telegraph for a while, and now two pieces come along at once... First is a gift book round up, which takes in everything from inkblot tests to manuals on knitting dogs, with detours into jelly, bikes, royal alligators and annoying meerkats. HERE is a link.

And also Russell Hoban's new book. I haven't actually read any of his other books - everyone tells me I must read Riddley Walker - but this extraordinarily odd little novel has certainly piqued my interest. Click HERE. The book takes as its premise the idea that the hippogriff from Ariosto's romance poem Orlando Furioso is in love with Angelica; he bursts into twenty-first century America in order to find her. As someone who has grappled with Orlando, and is currently re-making his way through The Faerie Queen, as the basis for a novel (for me at any rate) it's got to be a good one. A talking hippogriff beats a talking meerkat any day... (Pictured is one of Gustave Dore's etchings from OF.)

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