Saturday, July 04, 2009

Episode 285: Reading Library Books

Finished reading Alan Glynn's The Dark Fields before I went to get a haircut. Its subject matter helps to give it a topical relevance in the Information Age, as well as give it an appeal beyond your run-of-the-mill thriller novel. Basically, MDT-48 is a fictitious designer drug that enhances cognitive function. You know how everyone's always going on about how we only use a fraction of our brain? Well, MDT-48 allows you to tap into all of the rest, and in an age when we're constantly bombarded by data and information, it would be the perfect drug of choice. Why get high when you can get rich? That's exactly what the protagonist of the novel does, although inevitably, it all comes crashing down. That part of the book works well, but the actual denouement is less palatable. The hints that MDT-48 is more widely entrenched in the society of the novel are tantalising, and this is a novel that could easily make the transition to the cinema. I personally think if Glynn would allow it, a TV series could easily be made from the novel's premise, although obviously (to people who've read the novel at least), it would be unfeasible to insist on following the plot of the novel to the letter. Perhaps as a pilot? Or related movie? I'm now reading Power, Sex, Suicide, which is a popular science book about mitochondria, I kid you not. Just completed the introduction, and my curiosity about where Nick Lane's going to go with the rest of the book is piqued. After I'm done with that, it's time for some local poetry. I've decided that I should read some Edwin Thumboo, who once declared, 'When it comes to Singaporean Literature in English I am your footnote.' For a man whose work has been described as Yeatsian, I suppose it is a fair claim, although personally, I have never been particularly fond of local literature as a whole. There are exceptions, more than you would think, but they are exceptions nonetheless, not the rule. If that makes me a literary snob, so be it.

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