Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Yes I Was Haunted

The Last Talk with Lola FayeThe Last Talk with Lola Faye by Thomas H. Cook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yes I was Haunted ~ The Last Talk with Lola Faye

Just when I was congratulating myself that I no longer had anything to do with Kindle's Daily Deal I took a wee peek and saw that today's offering was the usual waffle-and-maple-syrup fare. Nice when you bite into it, but then you read the label more closely and see that it's only 10% real maple-syrup and the waffle mix had far too much bicarb in and you swear you're never going to eat one of those again.
   What I didn't suspect was that the label to this packet had a little Alice Door in it. The book didn't interest me really. I could easily prove it by downloading the free sample just to prove how right I was. The sample arrived, remarkably quickly too considering it was Kindle PaperWhite with its 'free 3G' which is so grotty it's almost a Con.

The Haunting ~
Hauntings are sneaky, let's not mince our words about this. They target the unwary. They're worse than that little old aunty who's no trouble to anyone, and whom you'd hardly know was there - at least that's the line she feeds you when she's touting for somewhere to stay.
   The second line such aunties feed you is that they don't eat enough to keep a little bird alive. It's true, unfortunately. They don't. They Nibble. They nibble at the the tastiest bit of pie which you were saving for later; they pull off knobs of cottage loaves and start into fresh blocks of cheese. They eat so many corners off rectangular food items you're left with little but curves and sculpted sweeps. You never really see them at it, until you could swear you're going to the shops far more often than you used to, and your weekly total food bill has crept way above inflation.

Double Disguise
Imagine that you'd dressed for an evening out at The Theatre. You're going to see Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire and it's going to be your fourth time. You've selected your fondest, wistfullest, yeah bestest outfit in your wardrobe as you've heard it said that the new actress playing Blanche Dubois is Something Else. That's why you've gone to so much trouble trouble dressing.
  When you get to the Stage you find you're right. Spot on..
   Except that in this tale, Blanche isn't quite Blanche, is she? This lady who's described as drab, humdrum, shabby, a mere redneck girl, seems to have got a remarkably pointed mind, even if she gets it from the boring show Dragnet, or the magazine article she half read while waiting to see the doctor.
   If Lola Faye backwater education makes her perception little more than a rusty blade, it's evident to me at least that one one of those hicks sure got the knack of brewing poky cider vinegar to use in knife sharpening. When Lola Faye's blade is dipped in this acerbic brew, the knife becomes insidious. Yet she always remains the shabby, dowdy stacker girl who just asks a question or two. To clear things up, considering it's going to be their Last Talk.

Columbo Niggles
Before I knew it, I found that Lola Faye was creeping under my skin. Like chiggers*, it was hell to live with, but Heaven when I scratched it. And I did plenty of that. Lola Faye made her shabby entrance into my slumber, dropped a few words and made to leave. "Come Back!" I called. "Read on then!" came the rejoinder. Which was exactly what I did. At 4.10 am, with my cup of hot Darjeeling and my cooling fan, I read on, sipping until daybreak when I heard a voice through the window telling me my hot water was ready and it was time to bathe.
   My day's schedule was full and there'd be no time for Lola Faye today. Except after bathing and being swadled, there seemed little harm in slipping out a hand to peek at the Kindle. Especially when it tells you you've got 10 minutes remaining until you reach the end of the chapter, when she jacks out that there's 'just one more thing.'

*Chiggers don't really get under your skin. They just itch, making sure it's you who does the scratching. As well as the blame for the ensuing sepsis.

Home Sick
Dammit, I'm going to miss her, the shabby backwoods girl who educates herself from magazines and TV shows. Never has a humdrum character with such an exotic name made so much impression on me; without revealing too much of her own story, Lola Faye manages to expose ever increasing piles of evidence against the protagonist Luke.  Luke whom we're supposed to sympathise with. Our taste buds somehow grow against him and we warm to Lola, even as we also admit that we don't know why.
   It all seems so complete, so done-and-dusted, until we're almost convinced we had a peek of Lieutenant Colombo's tatty overcoat under that frumpy dress of hers.

This little review was written using the Android App called "NoteStacks" I'd been trying to use it for months now and felt perplexed because I didn't really understand it. I only had that unshakeable "This-Is-Good" feeling. By the time I'd reached the 'use or chuck it' stage I wrote to its developer in frustration. He replied very quickly with a few hints which got me up-and-running straight away. After I'd written 100 lines on This Is Yet Another App I thought "Time to do Something Proper with it".
    Yes, it passes muster. The Android App, and The Book too.

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