September 8th, 2011

Cobnuts

On Sunday I bought cobnuts off a roadside vendor. They're a Kentish speciality and- though I spent much of my youth in the county- I'd never (knowingly) eaten them before. They taste a lot  like coconut. 

The Holy Terror: H.G. Wells

If you set your book in the immediate future you're willing it a short life- and if the date of publication is 1939 and you're talking about a universe of the 1940s in which there's no second world war and an (offstage) Hitler retires with honour to his hunting lodge and your anti-hero uses Oswald Mosley's brown shirts (lightly disguised) as a stepping stone to world domination then its vogue is going to be very short indeed.

A pity, really, because The Holy Terror (for all that Wells is writing on auto-pilot for much of the time) is a convincing portrait of a fictional man of genius (in this case a politician) and such things are extraordinarily rare.