Published on October 12th, 20130
Omnivore Pin-up: John, 27, South-East London
As well as being a traveller in the mould of Marco Polo, John is a twenty-seven year old civil servant from South-East London. Ask John out via firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Box no. 1706.
What are you reading at the moment?
Orwell’s Homage to Catalonia but because it’s an e-book I just can’t get along with it. There’s also too much detail about the various factions of the Republicans for the uninformed, even if Orwell does advise you to skip those parts. Still, because it’s Orwell I’ll endeavour to finish it.
What have you just finished reading?
Southeastern; metro 9 train times: 19 May to 7 December 2013. I’ve noticed some peculiar adjustments to the later shoulder of the morning weekday peaks between Dunton Green and Petts Wood and a cheeky bit of tinkering with the late Sunday evening services out of Charing Cross - presumably for extra slack due to upcoming engineering works? And, as I often prefer to read plays as they’re punchier and wittier than novels, I reread one of my favourites: Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.
What will you read next?
Beyond Forbidden Frontiers by Nick Danziger, an account of travelling through the ‘stans’ in the late 1980s. I’m about to head back to the region for a bit and the author has been touted by travellers as a modern day Marco Polo. Whilst one might imagine that means he was taking advantage of glasnost in the USSR and the end of the Afghan conflict to see the sights of the region, he was rather truer to his predecessor and apparently filled the book with unlikely anecdotes, Rustichelloesque fantasy and his rapacious ability to take advantage of the local womenfolk – so it should be much better than an actual travel journal.
Which author do you have a crush on?
I find Valentina Dmitrieva’s tales from pre-revolutionary Russia captivating and, like the work of so many of her peers, ideologically compelling. I suppose she’s dead now, so if if they need to be alive I’ll go for the octogenarian Irish wanderluster Dervla Murphy whose Full Tilt got me into gritty overland travel in Asia.
What’s the sexiest thing you’ve ever read?
‘The earth moved’ chapter of Hemmingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls, although as a youth working in my local library Mills & Boon launched their ‘Blaze’ series at which I couldn’t help but sneak a peek.
Which book would you give someone you’re trying to impress?
Despite it being a fairly obvious pick, For Whom The Bell Tolls has the right blend of action, philosophizing and romance.