Loneliness that Haunts
Excerpted from May This House Be Safe From Tigers, ©1959, by Alexander King:
I find it very difficult to make any new friendships, mostly because the people I run into nowadays are full of imbecile ideas which tend to upset me. I’m too old and too busy with my own affairs to spend precious time explaining the error of their ways to a lot of guppies that fate has accidentally dumped into my corner of the aquarium…
I have to stick to my old friends and I’m afraid they are equally stuck with me. It isn’t that we decry the modern age and its works, we just happen to know where it really gets off. We don’t believe that a lot of pointless running around and having a life full of trivial gadgets is going to appease the loneliness and the restlessness that haunts the human heart today.
This book is troublesome.
Alexander King makes many witty and insightful points, but this is also the most homophobic book I’ve ever read. It’s not just the occasional antiquated joke about “fairies” or “swishes,” there are hateful chapter-long rants against homosexuals.
I wish a judicious editor would excise those parts to make it acceptable for a modern audience, but unless that I happens I can’t really recommend this book.
And that’s a shame.