12 August 2009

Armadillo by William Boyd

An insurance adjuster in a Black Watch plaid suit. It doesn't get any better.

Conversation between the main character, Lorimar Black and his antique dealer (and sartorial mentor), Ivan.

I remember the day I thought I had caught Ivan out. He was wearing a hairy, snot green tweed suit with black brogues. I pointed to them and said, "Ivan, the ultimate sin - - black shoes with tweed."

"Oh, you're completly wrong, Lorimar, this is very acceptable. I'm glad you noticed it, however. It's a sign of a deeper malaise, something that's been worrying me for years.

""What's that?""It's been difficult, but I've decided that the brown shoe must be condemned. Suede yes, a brown boot-just. But I think the brown shoe is fundamentally below the salt. Something irretrievably petit bourgeois about a brown shoe, quintessentially suburban and infra dig. I threw all mine out last week, fourteen pairs, some I've had for decades. Threw them in a dustbin. I can't tell you how relieved I am, the weight off my mind.""All brown shoes?""Yes. No gentleman should wear a brown shoe ever. The brown shoe is finished. The brown shoe, Lorimer, has got to go."

From Armadillo by William Boyd

6 comments:

skorpeo said...

another book to add to the list. my wife may have some choice words for you, tintin, as an accomplice to my ever increasing book fetish.

(basic training d-day -82)

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Great book! But I'm not sure what is worse: the fact Ivan disapproves of brown shoes (even a rich chestnut calf?!!), or that he discarded his old shoes without putting them on eBay--or offering them to an Ask Andy regular.

Tintin, are you a WB fan? I'm re-reading An Ice-Cream war at the moment.

tintin said...

Skorp- Take the book to basic with you. It'll be one heck of a contrast.

LBT- I read, 'Any Human Heart' and was forever a Boyd fan. Armadillo was my 2nd Boyd novel and Nat Tate is next on my list. Although I could keep reading Any Human Heart over and over for the rest of my life.

M.Lane said...

This sounds like a great book, I will look for it.

As for the shoes, Sinatra called people "charlie brown shoes" in derogatory tones for a reason.

ML
mlanesepic.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Is this pre/apre Bill's "Hoopalong Cassidy" career?

psycho*daisies said...

"Brown shoes don't make it"- Frank Zappa