To Have and Have Not

It has rained and rained and rained, so for the past couple of weeks I have been doing a lot of work on the computer. So much so that I have now got RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) in my mouse-hand! Banned from the computer, the weather totally rubbish, what will I do?

Ah! ...I know... ever since I inherited my Aunt Nesta and Uncle Alistair's Penguin book collection I have been meaning to catch up on reading all those Classics that I never read when young.

So I closed my eyes and let my fingers glide along the spines of the books until I felt compelled to pull one out. What did I get? To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Nobel prize for literature 1954 - and the book cost 2/6 (2 shillings and 6 pence).

Mmmm. Not sure about this one... but ... ok... I had a go. The book is split into three short stories about Harry Morgan - not a nice chap, he is a murderer, a gun runner, people trafficker, booze smuggler and fisherman with boat for hire, working the seas between Cuba and the Florida keys where his 'tacky' little wife and two snotty children live. OK I admit I actually do not like this character one bit... and he talks so strangely, so alien to me ...

"I'm sorry, Albert, I can't use you," Harry said. He had thought it out that far already.
"I'd go cheap," Albert said.
"I'm sorry," Harry said. "I got no need for you now."
"You won't get a good man for what I'll go for," Albert said.
"I'm going by myself."
"You don't want to make a trip like that alone," Albert said.
"Shut up," said Harry. "What do you know about it? Do they teach you my business on the relief?"
"Go to hell," said Albert.
"Maybe I will," said Harry. Anybody looking at him could tell he was thinking plenty fast and he did not want to be bothered.

yet strangely compelling. I've read the first story and Harry has already killed somebody and lost an arm... his own. I know a little more about marlin fishing than I did before - you gotta give them some slack... and I know that Harry has more 'cojones' than most (though I should think 2 is enough for anyone!).

God I wish the sun would come out! (what am I doing on the computer with RSI you may ask?... clandestine... and I'd better go before I'm found out.) Right Harry... where were we?


  1. This weather is getting to me a bit as well. My right hand is nearly dropping off, I need one of those wrist supports. I did get out walking yesterday, and now my legs ache, oh well, can't have it all ways, one or the other.


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