I have just received the following letter from a friend whom I have known for most of my life. He is a scientist, an adventurer, a walker undaunted by distance, a wind surfer, as well as a shrewd and passionate critique of the political world… and much more. Suffice to say that he is a man whose opinion I listen to.
I was thrilled that he and his wife enjoyed the book and that it prompted his memory to tell the kind of story that we should never forget. The world is often stranger than we can imagine. It would also be nice if his final wishes came true.
Anne and I have just read your new novel, “The Disestablishment of Paradise”. We have not been able to do much else these past few days, even reading it on the toilet! We think it is the best thing you have ever written and that it should have many readers in future years.
Lots of good ideas, few digs at things of which you seriously disapprove and some splendid images – I particularly liked the picture of a seagull sliding effortlessly across the wind.
The story was gripping and sounded plausible, even though we knew it to be fiction. But I admire your desire to deal with the basic problem of an alien culture – that of communication.Humans, and for that matter, many other living things, are bad at communicating with other species on Earth. I am reminded of a story told by the lone sailor, Bernard Moitessier. He was in the southern ocean, steering a course that would clear the summit of an underwater mountain he knew was two days ahead, when a family of dolphins came alongside his boat, Joshua. They turned on their side and looked up at him and when they had his attention the big male swam out in front of the boat, looked back and then veered to the right a small amount. Meanwhile the others banged the left-hand side of his boat. Nothing. Big male swims back, looks at Gilbert for a while and repeats his manoeuvre. Eventually he understands they want him to follow them so he decides to do it, even though he is convinced they will maroon him on the mountain.
Two days later there is no sign of the peak and they smile their dolphin smiles and leave him. At this point he realizes that the mountain had been marked in the wrong place on the chart and that the dolphins had guided him away from certain disaster. They knew two days ahead. They must have thought he was a slow learner since it took them so long to convince him what they wanted him to do.. Lots of other aliens on our planet, and we know so little about them, though I suspect they know quite a lot about us….
I do hope you are able to glean some rewards from your new burst of creative energy and that someone with money can see the possibility of turning “Disestablishment” into a film, where it would be sure to find a huge audience.
A and M xx
Bernard Moitessier was a renowned French yachtsman and author of books about his voyages and sailing.
A personal Note
With the help of my son, I have set up an Authors Facebook Page to coincide with the release of my latest book The Disestablishment of Paradise . Feel free to ‘Like’ the page, make suggestions, leave comments and share your thoughts