Thursday, March 26, 2009

What I'm reading...August Heat

The US edition of Andrea Camilleri's tenth and latest Montalbano novel, August Heat, is now available. The UK edition will follow in June.


He was sleeping so soundly that not even cannon-fire could have woken him. Well, maybe not cannon-fire, but the ring of the telephone, yes.

Nowadays, if a man living in a civilized country (ha!) hears cannon-blasts in his sleep, he will, of course, mistake them for thunderclaps, gun salutes on the feast day of the local saint, or furniture being moved by the upstairs neighbours, and go on sleeping soundly. But the ring of the telephone, the triumphal march of the mobile, or the doorbell, no: those are sounds of summons to which the civilized man (ha-ha!) has no choice but to surface from the depths of slumber and answer.

So, Montalbano got out of bed, glanced at the clock, then at the window, from which he gathered that it was going to be a very hot day, and went into the dining room where the telephone was ringing wildly.

‘Salvo! Where were you? I’ve been trying to get hold of your for half an hour!’

‘I’m sorry, Livia. I was in the shower so I couldn’t hear the phone.’

First lie of the day.

Read more of the extract from the UK edition at the PanMacmillan site. Interestingly my American proof copy not only has "cell" for "mobile", which is to be expected, but also "slime-buckets living upstairs" for "upstairs neighbours". I wonder if the final US version has the slime-buckets comment?

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