Monday, August 28, 2023

the last book I ever read (Cal: A Novel by Bernard MacLeverty, excerpt four)

from Cal: A Novel by Bernard MacLeverty:

On the Monday morning Cal started work on the farm. He was embarrassed at his lack of knowledge about almost everything. Although he had lived all his life in a country town he had had no contact with the kind of work which kept it going, except his brief week in the abattoir, where he was too busy trying not to throw up to learn anything. He seemed to stand about all that first morning with his hands in his pockets and his feet aching as Dunlop showed him round. Dunlop knew everything inside and out but was a poor teacher. He raced through the instructions for cleaning the milk filters at such a speed that Cal was afraid to interrupt him. At the end he had no idea how to dismantle one, never mind put it back together. He heard words he had never heard in his life before. Brown stomach, lungworm, black scour, bankrupt worm. He knew that Dunlop was showing off but he had no way of countering it.

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