Just ahead of Part Twenty-Five of George Orwell's too timely tale Nineteen Eighty-Four, a quick thank you for all your kind words about Tales for Our Time. Vann Fleming has only been a Mark Steyn Club member since last month but he's enjoying prowling the back catalogue:
My eyes dimming I am fantastically happy to find membership to the club will allow me to sit back sip my favorite bourbon and listen to your shows and the books of which I just finished Zenda and three of the short stories including White Silence.
Which reminds me of my favorite London, Burning Daylight. As I remember it, a love story, and a story of how to live and give a happy fulfilling life. The Old Books By Dead Guys website: if you find yourself in the mood for a lighter and more optimistic story, (isn't this just what we need now that we have been Nineteen Eighty-Four'd?) this novel might be just what you're looking for... Daylight's personal quest does impart some meaningful life lessons.
Thank you for that suggestion, Vann. We'll bear it in mind. If you enjoyed The White Silence, don't miss what is Jack London's contender for the greatest short story ever written: To Build a Fire. And, if The Prisoner of Zenda hit the spot, you might like to give a go to my contemporary inversion thereof - The Prisoner of Windsor - which proved rather popular with Steyn Clubbers last summer.
As to "lighter and more optimistic stories", we do try to vary the fare - for example, our November selection, launched after Election Night, was P G Wodehouse.
And with that on to tonight's date with Orwell. Winston Smith is adjusting to his new life as a prisoner of the Ministry of Love:
There was a sound of marching boots outside. The steel door opened with a clang. A young officer, a trim black-uniformed figure who seemed to glitter all over with polished leather, and whose pale, straight-featured face was like a wax mask, stepped smartly through the doorway. He motioned to the guards outside to bring in the prisoner they were leading. The poet Ampleforth shambled into the cell. The door clanged shut again...
He had not yet noticed Winston's presence. His troubled eyes were gazing at the wall about a metre above the level of Winston's head. He was shoeless; large, dirty toes were sticking out of the holes in his socks. He was also several days away from a shave. A scrubby beard covered his face to the cheekbones, giving him an air of ruffianism that went oddly with his large weak frame and nervous movements... His eyes focused themselves slowly on Winston.
'Ah, Smith!' he said. 'You too!'
'What are you in for?'
'To tell you the truth--' He sat down awkwardly on the bench opposite Winston. 'There is only one offence, is there not?' he said.
'And have you committed it?'
'Apparently I have.'
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Twenty-Five of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Earlier episodes of Nineteen Eighty-Four can be found here, and some four dozen other Tales for Our Time here.
For more on The Mark Steyn Club, please see here. And, if you've a chum who enjoys classic fiction, we've introduced a special Mark Steyn Gift Membership.
See you for Part Twenty-Six of Nineteen Eighty-Four tomorrow.
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