Saturday, July 14, 2007

Have you ever...

Have you ever, on a long, cold, melancholy winter night — alone with your thoughts and the wind whistling through the hallways, the rain pounding against the windows — have you ever leaned your forehead against the mantel, absently watching sparks dance on the hearth, and longed to flee our wet and muddy Paris for some enchanted oasis? Somewhere fresh and carpeted in green, where you could lie in the shade of a riverside palm tree and doze off without a care in the world?

Well, the paradise of your dreams exists! Eden awaits you; the water flows clear and bright there, falling and surging up in bright dust; the palm fronds wave gently in the soft sea breeze like feathers in a genie’s cap. The jambosa trees, laden with iridescent fruit, stand ready to offer you their sweetly scented shade. Come, follow me now.


So begins Georges, by Alexandre Dumas. Who can resist following?

I love that I can have "new" books from this long-dead author, in lost manuscripts or fresh translations of forgotten stories.

I picked up this novel because it's Dumas! I'm not sure I would have done so on the basis of a synopsis alone. But what a fine, swashbuckling adventure it was. I'll comment more on this, but first I must read a little more about Dumas as well as the history of Mauritius.
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