Coincidences of the Week

The ones on the left come in fruit flavours. The ones on the right come in a rainbow of flavours. This rainbow happens to be made up of fruit, and the particular fruits in question seem to match the ones from the left.

 

I just finished reading Lev Grossman’s “The Magicians”. It’s an entertaining deconstruction of fantasy literature, but I think that my favourite conceit is the way in which it plays with the idea of the hidden world that pops up across the genre. You know the one. Harry Potter discovers that magic is real. The Pevensies wander into Narnia. Richard Mayhew gets thrown into a subterranean wonderland beneath London. These new realms remain unknown to the masses as they reveal themselves to the main characters and the audience. But the thing I liked about Grossman’s book was the fact that it happened twice. The protagonist, some dissatisfied kid in Brooklyn with a particular fondness for a fantasy series that’s essentially the equivalent of “The Chronicles of Narnia”, unexpectedly gets invited to a secret magical college in the country. He accepts this with the hope that it’ll pull him away from all of life’s problems that had dragged him down in the ordinary world, but it still doesn’t live up to that kind of Narnia world that he liked to read about. It’s almost more of a consolation prize. But then he finds that ersatz Narnia too.

Hilarity ensues. And further disillusionment. His. Not mine.

Anyway. Lovely tale.

But I mention it for another reason.

When I finished it, I decided that I was in the mood for a different kind of book, and my mind went back to some novel I’d seen during a recent jaunt through a favoured bookstore. It was called “Soon I Will Be Invincible”, and it’s a kind of satire on the superhero genre. When I went to look for it on Amazon, I noticed for the first time that the author shared a surname with Lev, and I came to learn that they were in fact twins. I also saw that the European version of the cover looked like a Bryan Hitch comic, which happened to be because Bryan Hitch actually drew it. It felt appropriate.

The other thing.

On Sunday, my perambulations took me through Kensington Market, and I happened to hear a gypsy jazz band play some riff on the James Bond theme at a restaurant by the name of Amadeu’s. I stayed in the vicinity till the end, for my enjoyment of their musical chimera was great. I only mourned for my inability to learn anything about the band that would enable me to hear them again with any degree of certainty.

On the following day, I was walking along Bloor to the house of one of the musicians from the last Hot Apollo show for the purpose of discussing summer recording plans. First, I ran into an acquaintance from high school who spent some time at the university of my brother and a close friend. I’d just been speaking to that friend on Friday about my tendency to run into that high school acquaintance once or twice a year, and I realised that it had been a bit of a while since our last encounter.

Immediately after that meeting, I was stopped by a man who offered me a tarot reading. I declined, but I offered him my rock-and-roll in turn. This set us to talking, and he told me that his brother was in a band too. He said that they were a fixture at Amadeu’s, and they turned out to be the band that I’d caught on the previous day. I found their album, “Between Worlds”, on iTunes later, and it’s got some good stuff. Fortuitous meeting.

 

Copyright © 2011, Jaymes Buckman and David Aaron Cohen. All rights reserved. In a good way.