Category Archives: The Magical APOL Book Tour

Singapore Sightings

APOL Singapore, LesleyA reading, Sands in bkgrd

The latest APOL sighting comes from Singapore, where the book landed to enjoy the lunar new year and a break from the rigours of touring. However, it soon caused a ruckus at the Marina Bay Sands casino and left in a huff – yet another sign that the niceties of its global tour are wearing thin on the testy tome.

When Sands publicists spotted APOL in their lobby they judged the book by its cover and offered it a VIP tour. The Marina Bay Sands, they crowed, is the world’s most expensive standalone casino. It boasts theaters, convention facilities, a skating rink, a canal. Its three hotel towers (shown behind APOL and a member of its entourage) are connected by an 1100 foot roof terrace which has the world’s longest (490 ft) elevated swimming pool with a capacity of 376,500 gallons and a 478 foot infinity edge–

“The book store?” APOL interrupted. It has a head for numbers but it’s on a book tour, after all.

Not really our demographic, the tome was told. But our Shoppes cover a million square feet and comprise more than 300 stores and luxury boutiques. Need a watch? Some Prada? Armani? There are two crystal pavilions. A nightly multi-media extravaganza. The casino itself boasts 1000 gaming tables and 1400 slot machines–

“Oh GAG me with a baccarat paddle,” shouted APOL, silencing the guide. “Get me out of here,” it told its handler. It was later spotted in a more amenable mood at the Long Bar at Ruffles, the historic watering hole favoured by fellow literarians Hemingway and Maugham, and the birthplace of the Singapore Sling. APOL was reading from itself to anyone who would listen.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Check in here or follow my Facebook Author Page for future reports on APOL’s quixotic and unpredictable world tour.

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Hello from Harvard Yard

APOL - Harvard 2

This week APOL breezed into the Boston area where it was spotted in Cambridge on a ramble around the storied Harvard campus, in the course of which it visited the offices of the Harvard Review, the Harvard Crimson, and the Harvard Lampoon, shilling for an interview or perhaps a review.  Later, it was posing for a publicity still in the Yard with the statue of John Harvard when a group of prospective freshmen came by on a tour. Their guide informed them that students traditionally rub the toe of John Harvard’s left foot for luck.

This has put quite a sheen on the shoe, yet the “tradition” is a hoax of recent origin. APOL knows a lot about hoaxes (in fact it is a recognized source on the subject), and overhearing this codswallop, could not resist setting the record straight. “If you want good luck,” it told the impressionable youths, “forget the founder’s foot. Kiss my cover instead.” Always a charmer, APOL made itself available to those of all genders (it is open-minded to a fault); but the book was definitely on to a value proposition. Harvard undergrad tuition runs US$45,000 a year. A copy of APOL retails for just US$15.99.

At the end of the day, it was back On The Road for the tour. APOL was last seen on US-3 headed north for Lowell to pay homage to hepcat Jack Kerouac.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Check in here or follow my Facebook Author Page for future reports on APOL’s quixotic and unpredictable world tour.

APOL visits Dubai’s Burj Khalifa

AOPL, Dubai - Birj

The Person of Letters book tour has touched down in Dubai. APOL was sighted this week mugging at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, at 828 metres the world’s tallest building. The book later visited the tower’s Sky Level observation deck, which costs 500 dirhams –  approx. US$135 or 4 bbl of oil. Afterwards, it visited the gift shop where it tried to slip onto a bookshelf but was quickly removed and shown the exit.

Perhaps this is why APOL was not enthralled with Dubai, its many luxury outlets and malls, its varied consumer culture. The emirate’s burning mid-day heat may also have been a factor. “What is it, 451 Fahrenheit here?” it demanded at one point. It was looking for a bookstore at the time. APOL looked rumpled and somewhat bent, definitely not in a satiric mood. “Geez,” it asked one of its handlers, “where can you get a drink in this burj?”

APOL has gained a reputation as a Bad Boy of Books on its present tour, not a good thing in a country where Orwell’s iconic Animal Farm has been banned for several years. Apparently, anthropomorphic pigs don’t fly in the Emirates.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.)

APOL Arrives in Nation’s Capital

APOL Ottawa 3

The Person of Letters book tour has landed in Ottawa, where APOL was recently spotted by an observant political staffer on Parliament Hill. From there the book was trailed to trendy Byward Market where it entered le Moulin de Provence but left without being served, muttering “Thanks, Obama!” at the long line of tourists ordering shortbread. However, there was no lineup for beavertail at the other end of the market and, no longer peckish, the book’s spirits picked up noticeably, especially after a short visit to the Aulde Dubliner.

Parliament’s Centre Block (pictured with APOL) was rebuilt after a fire in 1916 that some alleged was set by Americans in retaliation for the burning of Washington in 1814. Canada did not retaliate until 2015, when its sleeper agent Ted Cruz announced his bid for the U.S. presidency. It is hoped that this hundred year cycle of scorched earth warfare can soon be stopped.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Let your confreres know about APOL’s travels and follow its meandering book tour on my Facebook Author Page.

Book Tour Update

The Person of Letters book tour continues.

APOL in Kuala Lumpar 2

The travelling tome is apparently now touring Malaysia. Anonymous literati snapped this photo at the foot of Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers. APOL was reported to be enjoying itself but flat out refused to pose for a selfie with the photographer, insisting it was late for an event hosted by its Asian publisher. Later that evening it was spotted enjoying street satay at a mamak stall and tripping the light fantastic along Changkat Bukit Bintang, which is known for its night life.

Readers well know that APOL is fascinated by tall buildings, which probably explains why it was taking in the famous Petronas Towers. From 1998 until 2004 they were the tallest buildings in the world, and they are still the tallest twin tower complex anywhere. In 1999, daredevil Felix Baumgartner set a world base jump record by leaping from their peak, a feat he far surpassed in 2012 by jumping from, well, space.

There have been contradictory reports about A Person of Letters next destination.

A note to readers: APOL is the anthropomorphic version of my novel A Person of Letters, gone walkabout without its author. (A wink and a tilt of the hat here to magical realism.) Follow APOL‘s quixotic tour here or on my Facebook Author Page.

Announcing the Person of Letters Book Tour

A Person of Letters has launched its own book tour – inexplicably, without its author. I’ve recently received reports of sightings and photos of the book in various salubrious locations around the world. In this picture, for example, APOL is seen lounging poolside in California, happily unrecognized by the paparazzi pack. Reports indicate APOL is enjoying the tour, meeting interesting people, seeing the sights, and hamming it up shamelessly. (I’m not bitter at all. Really.)

Over the coming days I’ll post additional photos of its travels and adventures. If you spot APOL somewhere, please let me know and send me a shot. I will post those I receive here and on my Facebook Author Page.

APOL poolside.