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Today's quote:

Friday, February 3, 2017

Don't stop the carnival


Anyone who has ever dreamed of making his escape to an island paradise - and who has not? - will find Herman Wouk's book "Don't Stop the Carnival" a revelation, as well as hilarious and beguiling.

Herman Wouk, who also wrote "The Caine Mutiny" and "War and Remembrance", draws on his own experience - Wouk and his family lived for seven years on their own island in the sun, Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands - when he tells the story of Norman Paperman, a New York City press agent who, facing the onset of middle age, runs away to a Caribbean island to reinvent himself as a hotel keeper.

It is a story that is at once brilliantly comic and deeply moving and which has something to teach all those islomaniacs, be they in the Caribbean, the South Pacific, or any other part of the world wholly surrounded by water. As he writes, "The West Indian is not exactly hostile to change, but he is not much inclined to believe in it. This comes from a piece of wisdom that his climate of eternal summer teaches him. It is that, under all the parade of human effort and noise, today is like yesterday, and tomorrow will be like today; that existence is a wheel of recurring patterns from which no one escapes; that all anybody does in this life is live for a while and then die for good, without finding out much; and that therefore the idea is to take things easy and enjoy the passing time under the sun."

Please take note, Joe and Lola, Holger and Juliane, Nina and Adrian, and Philippe and Betsy, all formerly of Tonga; Ralf and Anke, formerly of Banjar Hills in Bali; David Glasheen, presently on Restoration Island; Horst Berger, presently in Tonga; Josh Ptasznyk, presently in Micronesia; and many, many others.