You Can’t Read the Same Book Twice, With Apologies To Monty Python

The bell tinkles as the customer walks into the Shop for Nostalgic Fiction.

Shopkeeper: Good morning, sir. How can I help you?

Customer: I’m looking for a book with a sense of adventure and a dash of the speculative with, hmm, let’s see, make it a female protagonist.

S: I have just the thing for you. Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

C: Oh, no. (Laughs awkwardly). I have four copies at home already.

S: We don’t really have anything else suitable.

C: What about that one? A Princess of Mars. That sounds like fun.

S: Terribly sorry, but despite the title the princess isn’t actually the main character.

C: Really? How strange. Never mind, why not give me a classic novel with a lost world, rip roaring Rider Haggard or Conan Doyle?

S: Excellent choice, sir.

C: Why thank you.

S: But I’m afraid none of them have female protagonists.

C: What about some Lovecraft? I always like horrific eldritch action.

S: I’m afraid he was rather racist.

C: It’s fine. Times were different.

S: He was really very racist, sir.

C: I don’t care if he was a toothbrush moustache away from being Hitler, just give me a damn story.

S: Ooooh dear. He doesn’t seem to have any female protagonists either.

C: What about just a main character?

S: No.

C: A speaking part?

S: No.

C: Any woman who does anything is fine.

S: Does dying count?

(They stand in silence.)

C: Fine. Just give me another copy of Cold Comfort Farm.

S: An admirable selection. Just five more and you get a free one!

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2 Responses to You Can’t Read the Same Book Twice, With Apologies To Monty Python

  1. I think this is where I post about A Might Girl. I follow them on facebook and find the posts fascinating.


    • sjrosenstein says:

      Interesting, I’d not seen that site before. Thanks!

      Though of course in reality, I’ll still go back and read the books I loved again. It was just a weird feeling, especially with Lovecraft, because I just remembered them being exciting and creepy. I never noticed the stuff that was left out (like women, or dialogue).


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