Jan 282016
 

Liquorature Gathering #048 – “A Fine Balance” (Rohinton Mistry)A_Fine_Balance

Date:  January, 2013

Host:  Jay

Whisky:  BB&R Berry’s Own 1989 Mortlach, Adelphi Bowmore 10 y.o.

Rum:  Dictador 20 y.o.

 

The start of year five for the Liquorature collective.  Wow.  Who’d have thought.  The book selections have been all over the map and that, of course, is exactly why we do this.  One member, though, has consistently managed to toss out book choices that leave us all scratching our heads.  Not because they’re illogical or anything, but because they seem to come so far out of left field for his character.  Or maybe they don’t and I’m simply projecting.

When Jay announced Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ as his pick to kick off 2013 I was over the moon.  This book had sat on my shelf unread for years, originally, I think, having belonged to my ex-girlfriend.  I’d often debated picking it up, but there always seemed to be another at the head of the queue.  This was just the motivation I needed – as is often the case with Liquorature – to finally start flipping pages on this ‘always a bridesmaid’ book.

‘A Fine Balance’ is one of those rare experiences in literature.  It’s more than a novel.  It’s an experience.  An immersive cultural initiation and awakening.  More than that, it is an utterly breathtaking story.  While seemingly simple on the surface, its layers and intricate truths are a stunning microcosm of the ‘human condition’ (a cheat, I know, but read it and tell me you don’t see a reflection of all facets of humanity and the inevitable futilities and questionings that come with it).  I can’t express it any better than to say Mistry completely knocked the legs out from under me, leaving me drained, damp-eyed…and entirely in love with every word he’d written.  Unquestionably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

We sipped well this eve, while universally praising this one.  A brilliant meaty old Mortlach was the spark, before a beastly young Bowmore erupted like fire in our bellies.  Both great offerings.  Those inclined to the more syrupy side of things were also drawn to a 20 year old Dictador rum.  Blech.  Not for this guy.

Thanks, Jay.  Brilliant experience from front to back.  Thanks for bringing this one to the club.

Randoms:  “Spook quote”…”Oprah’s army of white people”…”Where do you launder?”…”Collar and counting”…Indian food from “A Taste Of India”

 

– Curt

Jan 022015
 

Liquorature #065 – “The Stars My Destination”the stars my destination

 

Date:  October 24th, 2014

Host: Scott

Whisky: Mortlach Rare Old, Balblair 1989, Nikka Taketsuru 21 y.o.

 

Back to back forays into the realms of deep space. Sci-fi is starting to hold a little more clout with a few of us old codgers in the club who ignorantly initially mistook it for prepubescent nerd porn and summarily dismissed most of the genre out of hand. Thankfully a few of the literati in Liquorature have seen fit to force their agenda down our throats with their selections and catapult us into the stars (and the future).

Scott announced his selection just as I did, neither of aware that the other was going deep space on the crew.  So be it.  Two months in a row of escaping the third stone from the sun.  God knows with the life most of us lead we can use the ultimate escapism.  You may recall last month’s ‘Star Maker’ was about as much fun as an anesthetic-free vasectomy.  It delivered in terms of message but left us lurching to the finish line due to its incredibly dry pacing and method of delivery.  I think a few of us were somewhat reticent to pick up another book with ‘star’ in the title so soon after.

Happy to say ‘The Stars My Destination’ started off fast and immediately picked up speed.  This pseudo anarchistic dystopian romp pretty much had all of us at ‘hello’.  I think the breakneck pace and instantly imaginable characters had something to do with that, but let’s not sell short the fact that the story itself was immensely engaging and, like much good science fiction, the speculative nature and forward thinking led us all to pause for a moment and try to take ourselves back to 1957, the time of writing.

As is often the case with these sorts of tales, imaginative discussion is often lubed with a few drams of something strong and neat.  Scott picked out a few new ones for us (new to club members, that is).  Highlight for this guy had to be the Nikka Taketsuru 21, with a nose to die for.  The Balblair wasn’t far behind.  We were on relatively good behaviour, but have happily happened Ginger work through these bottles in the days since this gathering.

Great choices for this month, Buddha; drinks and book. Look forward to seeing where you take us next time.

…Having said all of that, I can’t but help feel relieved to place my feet back on terra firma (or at least adrift upon a fishing boat) with next month’s selection of “The Old Man And The Sea”.

The randoms: Blind tasting … “jaunt savant” … “need a nipple for that?” … “jaunt with Jiz” …

Until next…

 

– Curt