The twelve men congregated int he smoking room of the Crown Hotel gave the impression of a party accidentally met. From the variety of their comportment and dress – frock coats, tailcoats, Norfolk jackets with buttons of horn, yellow moleskin, cambric and twill – they might have been twelve strangers on a railway car, each bound for a separate quarter of a city that possessed fog and tides enough to divide them; indeed, the studied isolation of each man as he pored over his paper, or leaned forward to tap his ashes into the grate, or placed the splay of his hand upon the baize to take his shot at billiards, conspired to form the very type of bodily silence that occurs, late in the evening, on a public railway – deadened here not by the slur and clunk of the coaches, but by the fat clatter of the rain.
The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton
I have been saving this one. I am going on a two week holiday shortly, so I’ve left the fattest book in my Kindle for the day I board the plane. Will I like it? It has a particular Victorian rhythm, if there is such a thing. I hope I’ll like it.