Judging Books by Their Covers

Down at the Elephant yesterday, I spotted a young lad waiting to get onto a bus. He was in the full yoof getup: baseball cap, two hoods, earphones, dangling crotch and the sort of ghetto fabulous walk that says ‘only my enormously large todger is keeping my trousers up’. He was carrying a book, too, with his fingers marking his place half way through. I couldn’t resist peering more closely at the battered cover to see what the young people are reading today. One of the Potters, I presumed, or perhaps Janet And John Go Twocking.

Hardy’s Return of the Native, it was.

That’s me telled.


11 responses to “Judging Books by Their Covers

  1. I don’t know which amazed me more – the name of the book or the fact he’d managed to read half way through. I think you should have given him a medal.

    What’s the world coming to, I ask ? Mobiles being answered with ‘Yeah, I’m on the bus – can’t talk now, gotta finish ‘The Iliad’ by Ealing Broadway’.

  2. I don’t think I got that far through Hardy… and I was doing it for A level

  3. GCSE/A-level set text this year, maybe? I can’t think that anyone would actually read Hardy voluntarily.

  4. Kudos to the young chappy, like you, Hardy numbed my mind to the point of losing the will to ever read a book again.

    I have to admit though, I’m horribly judgemental of people on the train by what they’re reading. How many times I have wished to run up to people, grab them by the jowls and scream “The Da Vinci Code? Why, dear goodness, why? If everyone started drinking Petrol, would you do that too?”

  5. That’s my kind of loutish ne’er-do-well.

  6. This is clearly just one more way the yoof like to baffle and confuse their elders and betters: binge drinking, wearing their trousers round their knees and reading less than thrilling 19th century provincial authors FOR FUN.

  7. Or was he just screwing with your head?

  8. Can I just add that I quite enjoy Hardy?

  9. Brennig – he succeeded, clearly
    Yarb – you may but we will judge you harshly for it. What, even Toss of the D’urbevilles?

  10. I haven’t read Tess yet. But I thought Jude and the Madding Crowd was a masterpiece.

    Also, the best of his poems are superb, although he apparently wrote about a thousand with eight or nine hundred of them being dire.

  11. I think I’ve mainly encountered the dire ones. The line that has stuck with me since my traumatised youth was ‘right many a nipperkin’.

    But I think my main point re Hardy was, whatever his merits, he’s not exactly an easy read…

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