What do you do when you go on holiday? Go to the library of course, especially if you are tempted in by a notice saying, “BOOKS FOR SALE”. Two hours later you scrape yourself off the floor of that municipal building and pay up for a stretched armful of books that you can’t possibly leave to be unloved.
And so it was that I acquired my first Brian Moore. It was a very slim volume, its purple, plastic-protected jacket faded to mauve: “Catholics”.
The book begins:
The fog lifted. The island was there. The visitor walked to the end of the disused pier and saw it across three miles of ocean, riding the sea like an overturned fishing-boat. morning sunlight moved along a keel of mountain, above valleys black as tarred boatsides. He thought of Rome. Surprisingly the Order itself had little descriptive information. In the Lungoterre Vaticano he had been handed an out-of-print book: Weir’s Guide to Religious Monuments.
Though I picked the book up in the library in Padstow, Cornwall, the beginning of this short novel reminded me of the first time I had travelled to Caldey Island, off Tenby, South Wales to stay at the guesthouse of the Cistercian (Trappist) Caldey Abbey.
So if you have never read any Brian Moore, or indeed visited a monastery, then Catholics would seem a good place to begin.
Now I know that I have promised not to buy any books but after I have shepherded my Brian Moore’s together, I will make a list of those I need to look out for, and I will carry it with me, because if you see a book that you know you need then you have to buy it. don’t you.
Meanwhile, in preparation for my Moore hunt, I will share my list of books with you. Brian Moore also wrote as Michael Bryan and Bernard Mara but I’m not sure if I will start on those just yet.
|BRIAN MOORE 1921-1999
“his books often have a religious motif, without religious intent”
“‘every tale should tell itself’. Story is everything… the writers we remember were dedicated story-tellers.”
|Wreath for a Redhead ( in US “Sailor’s Leave”)||1951||writing as Michael Bryan|
|The Executioners||1951||writing as Michael Bryan|
|French for Murder||1954||writing as Bernard Mara|
|A Bullet for My Lady||1955||writing as Bernard Mara|
|Judith Hearne||1955||read & seen film|
|This Gun for Gloria||1956||writing as Bernard Mara|
|Intent to Kill||1956||writing as Michael Bryan|
|The Feast of Lupercal||1957|
|Murder in Majorca||1957||writing as as Michael Bryan|
|The Luck of Ginger Coffey||1960|
|An Answer from Limbo||1962|
|The Emperor of Ice Cream||1965|
|I Am Mary Dunne||1968|
|The Revolution Script||1971|
|The Great Victorian Collection||1975||read|
|The Doctor’s Wife||1976||have ? but not read yet|
|The Mangan Inheritance||1979|
|The Temptation of Eileen Hughes||1981|
|The Color of Blood||1987||read|
|Lies of Silence||1990||read|
|No Other Life||1993||read|
|The Statement||1995||think I’ve read|
|The Magician’s Wife||1997||have but not read|