Brave New World Revisited

Here is another excerpt from a work in progress- I’d love some feedback on it to help me with developing the next stages. I have have quite a bit more in scribbled notebooks, but everything is at first draft stage, so lots could change. If you want to read the previous excerpts that I have posted they are Word CountThe King James BibleBrave New WorldThe Spoken Word,  The Gutenberg Printing Press and Speed Reading. Comments and feedback are always welcome, and feel free to hit share if you enjoyed it!

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Brave New World came in the shop again today. She started speaking without saying hello, which I found odd. I do not know if she wanted a response. She told me that she had read a Brave New World now and thanked me. 

I found this perplexing. Never have I felt the need to approach Enzo after eating in La Tasca and tell him that I had eaten the food that he had brought out to me.  To me, in my limited understanding of social norms, it is to be assumed that when you purchase something, you would intend to use it for the purpose it was created. 

I too have read Brave New World and I find the young lady to be illogical and bizarre.  

I was currently counting a thriller novel and was up to eighty-two thousand, one hundred and six words. 

For two reasons I decided to put the book down until she had gone. 

Firstly, the previous visit had been chaotic and I was bracing myself for a similar occurrence. 

Secondly, I had committed to increasing my spoken word count. I was not sure I would or could have a conversation with her, but since she was not stealing from me, she would at least form part of a wider word count and at least be practice for serious conversations. 

‘Did you enjoy reading it?’ I asked, forcing myself to initiate dialogue.

‘I loved it. I can see why it was my Grandad’s favourite book’. She replied. 

‘Fifty percent of all books have more words than Brave New World and fifty percent have less. It is a very good book’

‘Is that true?’ 

‘I believe so. In my shop it is catalogued in the very centre. It was sixty-three thousand seven hundred and sixty-three words’ 

‘I think you told me. I think it’s amazing that you’ve read all of these books.’

‘I’ve counted every word in them’ 

‘Yes, that too. That’s what I meant. It must be a world record or something?’

I do not respond. I am not sure how to respond. It is not a world record. However could this be measured. Surely, there would be somebody older than me that might have read more books. Over a longer time, one could read more. Stephen Berg most certainly could read more. Stephen Berg could read the entire series of A Song of Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin in under seven hours. 

She started to look around the shop. I stood up for the event that I might be required to follow. 

Then she touched a book. ‘It has seventy-two thousand three hundred and one words’ I tell her. 

‘But how do you remember?’ She asked. 

‘I just do’ 

She flicked to the back page to see how many pages the book had. 

‘Two hundred and thirty-three’ I tell her.

‘That’s amazing.’ She pulled another book off the shelf. I ran over and replaced the first book. 

‘How about this one?’ she asked. 

‘Seventy-seven thousand, two-hundred and eighty-six words.’ 

My spoken word count will definitely be vastly improved this week. 

She rushed down the shop and pulled another book off the shelf without looking, she held it high above her head. 

‘This?’ she yelled.

‘Eighty-two thousand six hundred and twelve’ 

‘When did you read it?’ 

‘The twelfth of May 2013. It was a Sunday. I started reading it at 9:05 AM ’ 

‘And you still remember?’

I do not know if she does not believe me. But this particular book is one that I could recite for her if she asked me to. 

‘How about this one?’ 

I run over and place the last book neatly in its place. 

‘Eighty-four thousand and ten.’ 

‘You are some kind of genius’ 

I am not sure if I was being mocked. She did not seem to be mocking me. She seemed to be praising me with her words, but her actions seem ridiculous. 

‘Wait’. She ran toward the front of the shop. 

‘This one?’ she shouted, raising another book above her head.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Violet Lentz says:

    Yes, yes, yes! i def want to read more about his interactions with Brave New World. This is a real page turner Peter!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There will be more to follow over the next week or so hopefully 🙂 Thanks for reading it!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Nat says:

    I definitely would like to read more as was disappointed that it stopped so abruptly 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. edking4967 says:

    I still need to read it. Got a copy on my bookshelf.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you 🙂 yes. the narrator is calling her Brave New World. Hopefully it makes sense in the context of some of the previous excerpts- as the same character has been in once before and bought a copy of BNW. And thanks for the feedback

    Liked by 2 people

  6. One of my favorites that is relatable to every generation

    Liked by 3 people

  7. edking4967 says:

    The first paragraph is a little confusing–are you calling the woman Brave New World? Also “is” should be “if”.

    Liked by 2 people

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