Matthew sent me his book

After many weeks in transit from England (the book apparently went by seamail instead of airmail), I received a copy of Matthew’s new book. The condition of my reading it for him, to see if I could produce a blurb, was that he send me a copy of the British edition with a cat drawn in it.  I asked, and I received.

It’s a lovely hardback with a great cover, complete with gold-foil letters.

But the best part was the inscription. The backstory: some years ago when I visited Matthew in Manchester, he introduced me to his cats Ollie and Pepper (he still has them, but now also another named Harry). I picked up Ollie to nuzzle him, and he lashed out with his paw, laying my nose open so that I bled copiously. I never let Matthew forget that.  Other relevant fact: Matthew doesn’t talk much about free will in his book, and I chastised him for it in my comments. He made the usual deflecting joke (“I believe in free will; I have no choice”), even though I happen to know he’s a strict determinist.

Ergo the inscription:


  1. sgo
    Posted April 25, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Looks fantastic. Must be great to receive a book by a friend like this.

  2. Serendipitydawg
    Posted April 25, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I think the inscription raises a valid point. Whenever Ollie gets a mention in these pages, the tone is always accusative at the inevitable mention of nosegate… retributive justice may not have been delivered at the time, so maybe it is time to admit that the wave state of the universe permitted no other outcome at the time cat and nose came into close proximity.


    • Posted April 25, 2020 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes, but I can bite HIS nose to teach him not to go after me again. Sadly, I think it’s too late. . .

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted April 25, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Whenever I get in an escalating conflict with a cat neither of us comes out of it happy or unscathed.

      • Serendipitydawg
        Posted April 25, 2020 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Yes, but I can bite HIS nose to teach him not to go after me again.

        That would be an interesting experiment. I predict an affronted look from Ollie that clearly asks “what was that for?” or the begining of an ongoing feline vendetta that can only end in tears, and probably the A&E department of Manchester Royal Infirmary.

  3. JezGrove
    Posted April 25, 2020 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Lovely inscription.

  4. Joe Dickinson
    Posted April 25, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Also available to download on Kindle for about $15, as I’ve done. It’s what I do when I haven’t the patience to wait my turn at the local library, which is usually.

  5. Dominic
    Posted April 27, 2020 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Free will!!! 😁

%d bloggers like this: