Monday, October 14, 2013


I got a Nelson de Mille novel out of the library. It is titled Wildfire and is yet another of de Mille's wanks about his alter-ego saving the world etc.etc.
I knew what to expect but I was bored. De Mille's characters are 'smart-ass' and make 'wise-cracks' all the time. Cue boorish and pain-in-the-ass. John Corey, one of his characters drinks 'man drinks' like Budweiser and neat scotch but thinks that wine is for pansies. I guess he appeals to sales managers, long distance sales reps, van delivery drivers and shoolteachers - those who want to fantasise themselves into positions of power and rebellion.

Richard is reading all of the Lee Child's Jack Reacher books at present. Reacher is not 'smart-ass' nor is he boorish which largely is why most of his readership is women (and old male schoolteachers). There are things that Reacher does however that gets close like never changing his underpants and thinking that it is manly to drink copious amounts of strong black coffee. Oh, and not drinking wine.

Imagine Reacher or a similar type of character who is a vinophile:

Bill Humbert watched the guy walk past the window. He'd seen him twice before. First as he stepped off the Greyhound bus at Union Station. It had been one o'clock. June. Bill knew the time exactly as one o'clock, June, was the ideal time for a Prosecco aperitif. Simple. The guy was dressed like a businessman but there were some giveaway clues that suggested otherwise. The cuff of his shirt on the right arm had smear marks. These weren't ordinary smear marks as Humbert could tell. They looked like the accidental splashings from a bar. A copper-topped bar where the wiping cloth doesn't completely clear the spilled Chardonnay. Humbert remembered such a bar...
Humbert drew the glass of red wine closer to him. He looked at the colour that was highlighted by the late afternoon sun coming through the window (now not obstructed by the guy outside)and reflected on the shiny zinc table he was sitting at. Syrah. Rosemount Balmoral Syrah 2004. It was good and worth the argument with the pregnant barmaid who tried to pour a pint of Guinness for him when He'd asked for it. Silly cow. He knew that it needed to sit for another 55 seconds to allow optimum breathing before he took a sip but there was that guy. The guy had been walking Eastwards which took him from Humbert's right to left. Humbert knew that the entrance door was on the right side of the windows - facing in. He had calculated that the window frontage was about 40 foot long. The guy was moving quickly. Too quickly. Humbert knew that it would take him less than 20 paces to the door and then, after looking around another 15 paces to where he was sitting. 20 seconds tops. Not enough time for the wine to breathe properly. Humbert wasn't angry, just peeved. Peevishness he thought was an old English word created in a time of gentility and manners. Certainly not appropriate for today's rudeness and brashness. He watched the reflection of the guy approaching. He could see it in the top third of the glass which contrary to expectations was highly polished. He was ready. The guy came to the table, bumping it slightly and spilling some of the Syrah on to the table. The droplets glimmered like a ruby eye set in a Balinese statue. "Good life left in it" thought Humbert " 15 years more with adequate cellaring". "Remember me?" asked the guy. Humbert looked at him thinking "Not much life left in him, certainly not 15 years". The guy said he was the barman in the winebar down by Union and that Humbert had stiffed him on the tip. Humbert remembered the Chardonnay he'd ordered. It was supposed to be a barrel fermented oak-aged Napa Valley 2011. What was given however probably only saw a barrel when it was poured at waist level by this portly barman. "here's a tip" said Humbert and drove the point of his elbow into this guy's belly. The guy crumpled and fell to the floor by the table. Humbert stood up, drained the glass (nice fruit - plums, blackberries and nice American oak) and motioned to the pregnant barmaid. "Thanks" he said and pointing to the writhing figure on the floor "He's paying. Don't expect a tip"


Richard (of RBB) said...

Welcome back Humbert.

Richard (of RBB) said...

"Reacher is not 'smart-ass' nor is he boorish which largely is why most of his readership is women."
How do you know that? Guessing?


By my own survey done by lurking around in bookstores and libraries watching women (buying books)

Richard (of RBB) said...

So, you guessed.


No, not a guess. Read the interview with Lee Child in
He says that women make up most readership of his books.