Dragons, Rainbows and Magic

Sometimes I feel like i'm the only person who has never watched Game of Thrones. The only thing I know about it is that Jon Snow knows nothing.  I tried reading the  first book but I just can't get into it. Big long epics in far off lands, don't do it for me.   The same thing with Lord of the Rings.  Watched the films but have tried reading the books a few times, there is something missing, they don't grip me.

Books I like tend to be Science fiction and Fantasy that is set in the real world but with a twist.  One of my favourite books recently was Jonathan  Strange and  Mr Norrell  it is a story of magic and history and Faerie.  I loved the details in it, the footnotes referencing completely fictional text books and historical incidents and happenings are amazing.  It mixes fact and fantasy wonderfully,real places and people mixed in with the fantasy  and magic.  There is going to be a BBC Series  this coming winter. If you haven't read the book I would recommend it before you watch the series, I'm hoping the adaption will be good but don't think it can match the book.

A few weeks ago I was at the Southbank, it was a Sunny morning and I saw these Fountains



The First thing I thought about them was they look ace,  if they really tried hard they could be Rainbows.  I like to think that if a Fountain of water really dedicates itself to being the best fountain it can be one day it will be able to be a Rainbow.  i like that.

A few weeks ago at work I found out we are going to be showing the works of the Spanish Artist Joan Fontcuberta  One of the works will be Fauna  It is a showing of the archivess  of the long forgotten  German Zoologist Dr. Peter Ameisenhaufen.   There will be winged Monkeys with Unicorn horn and a snake with 12 feet.  There are drawings, x-rays and sound recordings of various creatures. I will leave it up to you t o visit and make up your own mind if it is real or not.

The same week after I found out about the Joan Fontcuberta Exhibition I got that sudden urge to buy a book, I couldn't fight it off, I didn't want to download to kindle or have something delivered I wanted a real book and i wanted it now. One of the great things about London is that you are never far away from a Bookshop so was able to satisfy my craving.

One of the books I bought was The Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent set in a place like ours but not quite, in a age that is probably around the 19th Century but never quite given away. It imagines a world where dragons are real but not understood.  As I finished reading the book today walking home from work I could imagine that Dragons could be real now. That they would be flying over London, occasionally dangerous and fire breathing but mostly harmless.  I imagined tiny ones crawling around the trees and flower beds like insects, maybe we even keep varieties as pets.

The book is good,its not a deep challenging read but is fun and has elements of suspense,adventure and sadness.   If you want game of thrones far off land epics, its probably not for you.  I would have liked it to go deeper into the back story of the place and time that the book is set, I would really have liked it if it had been set in a Victorian England with a twist rather than the sort of parallel  country of Scirling. It is missing some of the depth that makes Jonathan  Strange and Mr Norrell special.   There is a follow up book out in the summer 'The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent ' that I am looking forward to reading and learning more about Dragons.

Maybe Lady Trent met Dr Peter Ameisenhaufen,compared notes, travelled together ,discussed ideas, argued over  theories,    I would like to think they did.    Did Lady Trent know what happened to  Dr  Ameisenhaufen?  That will probably always remain a mystery.


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