Archives: James P. Blaylock

The Elfin Ship

Feeling, as I did, a trifle lonesome with my wife and daughter out of town for the week, “The Elfin Ship” by James P. Blaylock provided the ideal anodyne. It’s a warm fireplace and mug of hot, honeyed tea kind of book. Literature as comfort food.

“The Elfin Ship” fits the tradition of the leisurely road trip filled with adventures and perils that feel at less-than-serious on the surface, but ominous beneath the light-hearted prose. The book would be at home on the shelf next to “The Wind in the Willows,” “The Hobbit,” and “The Face in the Frost.” It’s the upper middle-class Englishman analogue stirred from his complacency and sent on a colorful round trip. You never truly fear he’ll fail to return and get to enjoy every way stop, every pipe smoked and tankard of ale drunk.

It is not easy feat maintaining this tone consistently for the duration of a long narrative. Given that “The Elfin Ship” was Mr. Blaylock’s first published novel, my hat is off to him.

My apologies for the brevity of this post. I’ve got some house-cleaning to attend to. My ladies are due back home in a couple of days and I fear my short reversion to bachelorhood has left the place rather a mess.

Rainy-day Reading

The grey days are here again. The storms roll inland from the Pacific in succession, bringing the seemingly continuous rain. The temperatures drop and coats come out of the closet. The days grow shorter. The nagging bugs commence. My daughter has already picked up a cold from somewhere and has graciously shared it with my wife. I imagine I’ll get to join the fun soon enough.

Goodbye summer. Hello long hours indoors. Those with the time curl up under a warm blanket and read. For the purpose of this web log post I’ll pretend I’m one of those fortunate folks with time on their hands, and not someone with a full-time job, a wife and infant deserving attention, novels to write, and a home to keep clean and maintained. I’m going to pretend I can do more than snatch a few minutes here and there to read.