Thursday, January 6, 2011

Castaway by Lucy Irvine

This book is a little out of my focus area of for the Bibliotiki since it is about a small island in the Torres Straights by Australia and within Melanesia. However, I do like to collect books by women authors for the collection. Though I usually don’t need them naked on the cover.

I also had to buy this book because it kept popping up in my life. A few weeks before our last Hawaii trip, we were in a small Californian college town and I saw they had a bookstore when looking for parking. This bookstore was a sad little affair where they hardly had any books but they had this book in hardcover for $4. I am kinda funny about the format of my books. For the Bibliotiki, if it is really old I like it with a dust jack and hardcover. If it is from about 1980 to present I rather have paperback. I prefer paperbacks since I commute on the bus and I am kinda tough on shoving books in my bag. I usually don’t like to travel with my older books since they are more delicate and heavier. So since this book was from 1983 and about Melanesia, I didn’t want it in hardcover. I told my husband this and he just called me cheap!

Flash forward a few weeks when we were in Oahu at a musty book and record store called Jelly’s. We were in Hawaii for a week and I had only packed one book. I have realized lately that I have been packing too many books for trips so for this trip I thought 1 would do me. It was a 450 page book but I was having trouble getting into it and was feeling a bit dumb not having a good book for my beach vacation. But there on Jelly’s shelf was a $2.98 beatup paperback copy of Castaway. The price and format were right so I suddenly had a beach book.

What a strange book. It is the nonfiction story of a British woman who accepts an ad in the newpaper for a man looking for a wife since the Australian goventment required this of them to live on uninhabited island. On the front of the book it says it was a best seller, I guess because she is always talking about being naked and there are some topless photos of her.

Also there is a great debate between her and her husband “G” about having sex. They had sex before they arrived on the island but then she didn’t want to anymore and he grew embittred and his health deteriorated. Not to imply that his health deteriorated due to lack of sex but I'm sure some men could make a case for it.

I must say if I had any dreams about being dropped off on a desserted island they where shattered reading this book. Between them running about out of fresh water to their near stravation and many infections, um no thanks. I’ll just stay at the Hilton thank you very much. They were saved by nearby islanders who adopted them once they discovered that G could fix their motors.

I found the book interesting until she broke down and finally had sex with him then it just got weird with all his sexual fantasies and their role playing. Ugh, please go back to talking about making your own fish hooks, that was more interesting.

While flying home from Hawaii we watched an old Hammer horror movie, the Curse of the Wearwolf with Oliver Reed. I am a fan of Oliver Reed so once we were home we were looking on netflix streaming and saw he was in a film called Castaway. Could it be based on the book I just read? Why yes! The movie was pretty close to the book as in she was naked a lot and G was a horny old bastard. Since it was Oliver Reed we did wonder how much was just drunken adlibbed.

This strange coicisdence had us learning more about Oliver Reed including watching a strange visit on Letterman and reading the book Hellraisers. Good lord those old British actors could drink.

Back to Castaway. Served its purpose as a good beach read and I got to learn more about Oliver Reed then I needed to know (a tattoo of a bird claw on his manhood??).

In closing, I do think it is ironic that G moved to this island to write a book about living on an island and here this young woman turns out a best seller were his book is like 1 cent on Amazon. Wonder how he felt about that?

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