Sunday, March 30, 2008

Harold Lamb's Khlit

My parents bought a place when I was four. It's on a lake, and is what most people in Ontario refer to as a cottage. (Out in BC people refer to them as cabins. What do they call rudimentary second homes situated in forests or near lakes where you live? I call them proof that I'm lucky as hell, as it turns out.)

One notable thing about this place, besides the fact that it can only be accessed by boat, is that it has a wall of books. These books are almost all mystery novels from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, many featuring wasp-waisted women on the covers. They have titles like "The Red-Headed Corpse", "The Bride Wore Black" and "Too Late to Live". Another favourite title (because it's so over-the-top) that my sister found: "We All Killed Grandma".

In the collection (alphabetized by author by the previous owner), there are other random books, including a few by Harold Lamb. Who is Harold Lamb you might ask? WHO IS HAROLD LAMB!?! Well, he's the guy who wrote some crazy historical fiction novels (mostly about conquerors) that fans claim can teach you about history as well as the characters involved. You know, get to really know Genghis Khan and Timur, etc. And their families. And the thousands of people whose severed heads they left in a trail behind them.

Someone in my family, who may even be moved by this post to comment, LOVES Harold Lamb books, a source of some amusement to the rest of the family.

As you know, I recently discovered that one of Lamb's books is called The Curved Saber: The Adventures of Khlit the Cossack. My sis and I found a link (which I've since lost) that allowed viewers to read some of this superbly-named tome online.

Without further ado, I give you our foolish conversation:

Goo: if you click on the book
it will let you read it
i wish i could copy paste some of these lines
"It was a good battle," Khlit growled, "it was a battle such as I have never seen."
click on the first book, wolf of the steppes

Roo: "Here they formed in a line, Khlit taking his place between Chagan and a trembling youth in Dungan garb."

Goo: nice find!!!!

Roo: page 430

Goo: they abound

Roo: it's a goldmine

Goo: almost as though Lamb was having his own game

Roo: check this out - "Action and the prospect of conflict aroused him, and Khlit, who missed nothing, saw that the Khirghiz were equally gay."*

Goo: sweeeeeet
are you able to copy paste?
I found another one

Roo: no
type it out
so worth it

Goo: harold lamb has supplied this family with so much entertainment over the years

Roo: I know

Goo: "Khlit stroked the scabbard of his curved sword thoughtfully"

Roo: I declare a winner!
I'm really tired though. Have to go to bed now. Me=melting.

Goo: OK! good night.
stroke it thoughtfully.

Roo: As always.

*By the way, I'm 100% all for the gays: being gay, feeling gay, gay marriage, gay sex, gay gay gay.


At April 10, 2008 8:32 a.m., Anonymous Emily said...

this post is hilarious.. i love the 50s romances at ontario cottages, they are always fantastic. i remember sneaking them when i was younger, discreetly hiding the covers from my mother by taking off the dust jackets, because they would still have caused raised eyebrows regarding their propriety.


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