JLS (jlsjlsjls) wrote,

It's an even day again ...

... and today we're going with a single and much beloved book rather than a series.

Patrick Woodroffe's "The Dorbott of Vacuo" (or, to quote its full title: "The Dorbott of Vacuo, or, How to Live with the Fluxus Quo : a Tale of Utterly Cosmic Insignificance") pretty much redefines the word "quirky". Or maybe it should just be appointed the official definition of the word. Most people who see it mistake it for a children's picture book ... understandable if judging merely by the cover. But crack it open and while it is full of marvelous ... oh so very marvelous ... illustrations, it also contains far more text than one finds in a picture book. And the story! Oh, the story! It's magical and convoluted and fascinating and downright hilarious and ... and ... and ... I don't think the appropriate adjectives have been invented yet. Try to imagine if the Monty Python gang, Terry Pratchett, and Douglas Adams had co-written the scripts for Farscape ... nah, even that's not good enough as a description, it merely suffices as a hint.

Just trust me ... if you ever come across this gem in a secondhand book store (it is, sadly, out of print), acquire it by any (legal) means possible. From the chapter describing the inhabitants of Corporesano, the world where nothing ever stays still (including anything that would be inanimate on any other planet) and the biggest "industry" is trying to keep track of everything:
And now (at last) we come to the Carpediemite Tendency, the third great division -- the class to which belonged the illustrious Dorbott and his ilk, those who had succeeded in turning the fluxus quo to their own advantage, those who had learned to live with it, even to love it. Once again there were three roughly defined sub-divisions -- the Integumenta, the Figmenta and the Thoroughly Bogus.
The Integumenta were generally remarkable for their thick skins, large ears (except for the Fuddigongs and the Queeks, of whom more later) and casual attitudes. They made much of not caring a fig for what anyone else did or thought about anything at all. To generalize unmercifully, the Integumenta were all hedonists and lotus-eaters, a pleasure-seeking underground that none the less religiously eschewed any pleasures that demanded effort -- like breakfast, or getting up before three in the afternoon. All were formidable small-hours dissenters, heroic chewers of the fat, and their love-affair with music was legendary, if somewhat one-sided (except for the Fuddigongs and Queeks, for reasons to become obvious).
Second came the Figmenta, a multifarious band of remarkable monsters, hybrids, freaks, sports and Freudian slips. They had good reason for their blithe good humour, their unclouded bliss, for the Figmenta, springing suddenly in and out of existence according to the strange laws of Vacuous physics, were nothing more than the product of other peoples' imagination, the physical incarnation of day-dream, nightmare or deliberate lie. They had no control even of their smallest actions, which of course absolved them from all responsibility and guilt. They were content to remain amused observers of their own brief careers until such time as the dreamer awoke, the nightmare was broken or the romancer exposed. It was all great fun, and even the serious bits didn't hurt.
The third group, the Thoroughly Bogus, were the happiest and sanest of all. They had nothing to worry about at all because they simply didn't exist. Not existing had been proved by research to be by far the most effective way of keeping out of trouble. A gathering of more than one Bogus was, for obvious reasons, generally referred to as a "charm" of Bogi. Some people favoured the Bogi as pets, feeding them (for the sake of economy) on a mixture of dehydrated water and elbow-grease. On special occasions they might be given giraffe's eggs in turtle milk, followed by their second favourite bonne-bouche -- breadfruit and yam sandwiches; however eight out of ten Bogus owners whose pets expressed a preference said their Bogi liked nothing better.
One Bogus of note was black Blanche -- a born mother -- whose little daughter Melanie was said to be a born baby.
Tags: bookseries: dorbott, reading

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