I can't quite put my finger on Richardson's art. He can take the everyday, even mundane events so common to all of us and help me see them with fresh perspective. Something so ordinary as a dishwasher becomes an ethereal, even spiritual mentor as it chants it's soothing mantra.
Reading his description of life is so rich in detail and warm in color that its like looking at a Norman Rockwell painting, only you get to look in on the scene through every window in the house.
Some of the funniest things about ourselves come of how seriously we tend to take ourselves. So it is with Virgil, Hector and now Caedmon, a newly introduced character who drives an old bus with a thatched roof. All are, off the charts eccentric, and yet so ordinary, they could just as easily be me, or (even funnier) you!
Told from the perspective of practically every character the tale waxes and wanes through mists of amusement and then bursts into a clarity of invention that delights and satisfies. I enjoyed myself from beginning to end.
I'll leave you with Virgil's high noon wishes to ponder:
- I wish you a comfortable bed.
- A roof to withstand every storm.
- A pillow to cushion your head.
- An angel to keep you from harm
- I wish you remembrance of dreams.
- I wish you the love you require.
- In summer, the sheltering shade.
- In winter, a welcoming fire.
- I wish you the comfort of friends.
- I wish you an absence of fear.
- A wish for the right wish to end.
- And it's over. I wish you were here.