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6 Degrees of Separation: February 2023

6 degrees of separation february 2023

It's been ages since I managed to do a 6 Degrees post. Somehow the dates pass me by each month before I get chance to get my head around it. But I always enjoy writing them on the rare occasions I do, because you never know where your chain will take you or what you will learn in the process. In case you don't know how it works, 6 Degrees is a meme hosted by Books Are My Favourite and Best - you can check out how it all works here.

This month we are starting with Trust by Hernan Diaz. As usual, I am behind the times/completely ignorant about what is going on in contemporary publishing, so know nothing about this one...

But the cover really reminded me of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. I read this one years ago. Lots of people REALLY rave about it, and say it is their most favourite book in the entire world. It also won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001. But I seem to remember finding it a bit meandering and that it didn't always hold my attention. In fact, come to think about it, I can't actually remember anything that happened in it.


But I vaguely remember that it had something to do with the Empire State Building, which also features as the final resting place of James' Giant Peach. It's hard to believe that James and the Giant Peach was published in 1961 - almost 62 years ago. Actually, it's never really been one of my favourites, but it just never seems to date. I can say that I have seen a musical production of it, albeit one produced in my high school and starring my sister as the earthworm.

Did you know that Roald Dahl co-wrote the screenplay for You Only Live Twice? He had published a few books at this point (1967) and had written a couple of playscripts, but had no experience of writing a screenplay. But he was mates with Ian Fleming, so that probably helped. Dahl thought the book was Fleming's worst book and he rewrote the plot almost entirely; not sure how that affected their friendship... I haven't read this one, or any of Fleming's books actually. Maybe I'll get around to it one day.


After James and his peach and James Bond, we go next to another famous James... Professor James Moriarty. Conan Doyle actually invented Moriarty specifically as a way of killing of Holmes because he wanted to end the stories and write something else. Moriarty famously kills Holmes at the Reichenbach Falls in The Adventure of the Final Problem. I've read a few Holmes stories, but not this one. I have, however, visited the Falls - though it was long before I understood their literary significance.

Another literary setting I have visited is Jamaica Inn in Cornwall. I wouldn't recommend a visit, but I do earnestly recommend the book. It is one of the first 'grown up' books I remember reading, when I was about 11 and I was completely absorbed by it. I've read it a couple of times since then, and happily enjoyed it just as much.


Jamaica Inn was adapted as a film in 1939 by Alfred Hitchcock. Another book adapted by Hitchcock was Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train in 1951. I haven't read any of Highsmith's work, but she is on my list, if only because once attended a party with a giant lettuce covered in snails which she said were her 'companions for the evening'.

So that was 6 degrees of Separation February 2023. If you enjoyed it, pop over and check out some of the earlier editions here! Or have a go yourself.



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