Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stunned by the early days of a romance...

No I'm not about to abandon my young family and lovely wife to run off somewhere exotic in a fit of "shi* here comes another birthday am I really THAT old madness"...

...but I have fallen in love.

With John Cowper Powys and A Glastonbury Romance. This is a book I have thought about reading for a very long time. It is, after all, a very long book (1120 pages in my edition) and I always think hard before starting long books. I used to put it on the table at Waterstones and every now and then someone would buy it. (Exactly the kind of book they stopped me from putting on the table leading to me quitting and seeking out the independent sector! Selling "every now and then" is not what W's is about any more. Some would say this was a good thing. (Shareholders) Others (Book nuts) disagree.)

I digress. Let's just say that almost from the first moment I started A Glastonbury Romance I knew I was in good hands. This is the kind of book to surrender yourself to completely. I love the way he writes, I love the way even the buds on the trees seem to be characters in the book. I love the sense that there is an aspect of life that lies entirely beyond the realm of work, money and all sensible things, that the world is here to be enjoyed and noticed that this is vital not just some lazy notion.

All we have is now says Cowper (and the Flaming Lips) and everything is here in each moment if only we could pause for a moment and take notice.

(Now where are those pills?)

No, seriously! Blake lovers, dreamers everywhere - find a copy and sink inside. You have over a thousand pages of pure literary pleasure to explore...


  1. BTW Adam - I don't think you'd like it much!

    But Marie and I are plotting to make sure you read The Road...

  2. Just sold a copy YAY!!!!!

    The power of enthusiasm!!!!!

    (Or was it just total desperation and the only way she thought she would ever escape my ramblings?)

  3. This is one of those books I have, like you, looked at and looked at and never actually found the right time to read. So I will make this autumn the right time. Thanks.

  4. Oh wow - two people persuaded to read it in one day!

    BTW Susan, twas I who suggested you take a look at The Short Day Dying (not Marie - though she loves it too!)

    Hope I don't come over too nobby pointing that out but I have been pushing that book on people for about two years now and love it to bits. Sooooooo pleased to see you are spreading the news of Pete's greatness via your own blog.

    He came and read at the shop and is a really good bloke too - always helps when selling people's books if you know they are great...

  5. Paul JeorrettNovember 26, 2006

    I read JCP's 'Wolf Solent' this summer and have gathered all his other novels around me for a few rainy days (weeks?) to come. Glastonbury Romance has been lent to me by a friend for my big Christmas read. I can't wait 'Wolf Solent' was one of those sort of books that wraps around you and you don't want it to end.

    Last Christmas I read 'War and Peace' and that had a similar effect on me, although a very different read.

  6. I sold someone a copy of The Glastonbury Roamnce last week. She came back just now to say how much she was enjoying it!

    I think it's about time Cowper-Powys had a revival.

    Shall we start an appreciation society?

  7. There is already a Powys Society at http://www.powys-society.org/html/powjcp.htm
    Haven't joined yet though.

    By the way have you got any copies of Glastonbury Romance left for sale? I would really like to own one to replace my borrowed copy. nearly popped in yesterday when in Waterloo but ran out of time.

  8. Hello Anon,

    I have been pushing Glastonbury Romance with such success that we have now sold out...

    Should be in again in a week or so.

    Drop us an e-mail to info@crockattpowell.com and I'll keep one aside for you.