Tony Parsons – Starting Over


That is the worst thing about having children. You want to protect them more than you ever can. You try to endure that unendurable fact. But it is always there.

My holidays in Barcelona were blessed by great weather and we had lots of fun although I didn’t get to enough Geocaching for my taste. The days before the holiday on the contrary have been packed with work, so I hadn’t had to much time to pack my things for the trip. And the impossible happened: I forgot to take a fiction book with me, I only brought the guidebooks. So I had to buy this book near Port Olimpic and I can say that the assortment of books in a language I can truly read wasn’t that wide.

Considering this facts I was quite lucky. Tony Parsons is a great storyteller focusing on family life (at least in this book). The protagonist suffers a heart attack and receives a new chance to live through a heart transplantation. It seems his life is not the same, although nobody wants to understand his feelings about the unknown donor and what he might have received from him beyond the heart. His kids just started to live their own lifes and can’t be protected anymore. His wife wants him to forget about the new heart and continue the life they led before the heart attack (without the bad habits like smoking or fat food of course). All this leads to a crisis that shakes the family much more than the heart disease. Resolving the crisis takes some time, will they work it out in the end? Be sure to find some kind of a happy end.

And just for the record: Jack Kerouac is following me.

Bed made with military precision. A small bookcase with neat rows of paperbacks. I pulled one out and flicked through it. A phrase leapt out at me, stopped me in my tracks. The ragged and ecstatic joy of pure being. I looked at the cover. Blue skies. A fifties car. Two men, smiling, their faces half in shadow. On the Road by Jack Kerouac.


Rob Sheffield – Love is a mix tape

Tape(c)me, myself and I/PIXELIO

Falling in love with Renée was not the kind of thing you walk away from in one piece. I had no chance. She put a hitch in my git-along. She would wake up in the middle of the night and say things like “What if Bad Bad Leroy Brown was a girl?” or “Why don’t they have commercials for salt like they do for milk?” Then she would fall back to sleep, while I would lie awake and give thanks for this alien creature beside whom I rested.

This might be the saddest love story ever told. But it might also be the a great illusion. It’s easy to idealize a person that’s no longer with us, in fact it’s the only thing you can do.

As far as mix tapes go, “Big Star: For Renée” is totally unimaginative. It’s basically just one complete album on each side of a tape. But this is the tape that changed everything.

Everybody wants to find a love like that. Nobody wants to loose it. Just go read this love story and listen to Wavorly: A Summer’s Song.

She had more energy than anybody I’d ever met. She was in love with the world. She was warm and loud and impulsive. One day, she announced she had found the guitar of her dreams at a local junk shop. I said, “You don’t even play the guitar.”

And Don’t Stop Believing.