It’s called Anil’s Ghost and it’s by Michael Ondaatje.
I cannot believe I have not read this guy before. He is so amazingly good.
And so I set the book down for a bit, sipped my coffee, and thought of ways I would most NOT want to be killed. I’m talking about execution-style!
I have [quickly] concluded that there are really NO ways that I would like to be killed, sort of…. but the way that would most bug me would be flat-out decapitation.
I so would not go for that!
Anil’s Ghost takes place in the Sri Lanka of the mid-1980’s to early 1990’s, a period of serious political upheaval and violent uprisings. Please forgive my ignorance in not knowing exactly the situation there today, whether or not such violence as is discussed in this book is still taking place.
Suffice it to say, there are a lot of brutal killings talked about in the pages of Anil’s Ghost, and some of these victims end up with their heads on stakes, as a warning [I guess] to other people that still have their heads nicely attached to their bodies and whatnot.
Other people have been thrown from helicopters into the ocean, probably weighted down with stuff, or having their hands tied behind their back, and you’ve got to admit, there’s nothing good about that either.
But having your HEAD CUT OFF?
For one thing, I cannot think of something more horrible than knowing that sometime hence, soon even, you WILL have your head cut off.
It’s the knowing that would bother me, I think.
I think of people condemned to death during the French Revolution and stuff.
Wasn’t the whole decapitation thing really in vogue about then?
I simply cannot imagine that some people, thousands of them even, have had to sit in dungeons and cells and KNOW that soon they would be parting ways with their noggin!
Burning would be bad.
Getting shot? → Not good at all.
Poisoned? → Not my cup of tea!
Thrown from a helicopter? → I’ll pass.
But, for the record, I am going to say here and now that I am going to be profoundly disappointed if one day something other than my neck separates my brain from the rest of me!