Troubador Body English

Released: 28/01/2016

ISBN: 9781785890444

Format: Paperback

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Body English

Anglo-American Encounters

by

Body English: bodily twisting in an attempt to influence the trajectory of a propelled object / the irregular motion or spin of the propelled object as if it were influenced by this twisting. When Americans and Britons meet, the silent power of Body English can cause lives to swerve, collide and veer. These eight stories tell of people whose paths and destinies were nudged into new directions by Body English. Two bikers – one British, one American – take shelter in an abandoned prairie schoolhouse. Slowly, bizarrely, its splintered wooden desks, forgotten drawings and dusty, ragged flag evoke the forgotten myths of boyhood. In a Yorkshire restaurant, American Sally Meline meets an old lady whose life seems disturbingly similar to that of Sally’s dead mother. Soon, though, Sally finds she has been hooked like a fly in the web. Two young men, the last of the legendary hoboes, steal rides on a freight train. But when it lurches to a halt in the middle of an Oregon forest, they discover – chillingly – that they are not alone. At midnight in the Gulf of Mexico, four roustabouts troop onto the deck of an oil rig with a cricket bat. There, in the glare of arc lamps, they play their version of the English game. Little by little, an amazing enterprise takes shape: Louisiana Cricket. Put it down to the force of Body English …

Body English: the unconscious twisting of the body after launching, hitting or kicking a ball, as if to guide its course / the irregular movement or spin of a propelled object as if it were influenced by this twisting.
The American Heritage Dictionary.

Americans and Brits share values, a language, a history and a cultural heritage. We see eye-to-eye, do we not? But put an American into a crowd of Brits, and lives veer off-course and find new tangents. Put a Brit among Americans, and nothing is quite as it was, or seemed. Oddities happen. People may remain themselves and hold to their path. But they find that path has curved to a detour. When American collides with Brit, the waves can be ever so brief, and all may come to rest as it was. But they can as well prove long and strong, and break on new, unheard-of shores.

Two bikers – one British, one American – take shelter in an abandoned prairie schoolhouse. Slowly, bizarrely, its splintered desks, forgotten drawings and ragged, dusty flag evoke the shared myths of boyhood.

In a Yorkshire restaurant, American Sally Meline meets an old lady who disturbingly resembles her dead mother. And soon, Sally finds she has been hooked like a fly in the web.

An Englishman and an American, “the last hobos”, steal rides on a freight train to Oregon. But when it lurches to a halt in the middle of a forest, they discover – chillingly – that they are not alone.

At midnight in the Gulf of Mexico, four roustabouts troop onto an oil rig and play their version of the English game. There, in the glare of arc lamps, an amazing new enterprise is born: Louisiana Cricket.

Put it all down to Body English …

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Barry Baddock

I turned to writing fiction after 40 years of teaching in England, Wales, the United States, Portugal and Germany.

Please read my earlier fiction:

Nomads' Rest, Troubador Publishing, 2011 (novel).

Penny a Look, Tuppence a Feel, Janus Publishing Co, 2013 (stories / biography).

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