Friday, 9 November 2001

The Ionian mission

Listening to:

Bartok, string quartet no. 6 (Sz 114).

Holiday reading:

Patrick O'Brian, The Ionian mission.

This is the eighth book of the series. I wasn’t as impressed with this one as I was with the first seven. It starts well, with Aubrey and Maturin “messing about in boats” in the western Mediterranean, blockading the French fleet based in Toulon, and getting to grips with a new crew and ship. The Ionian aspect of the story comes along quite late in the tale, and seems tacked on to the rest of the narrative in fairly desultory fashion. So, my verdict is: weakest of the eight, but I’ll still read the next one. (It’s on the List for a start.)

Another strategy they might adopt in the UK to “encourage” civic participation is to force people to vote. This is what happens in Australia (you can be fined if you don’t vote). I’m reminded of this because Australia is having a General Election tomorrow.