Desert Island Valley - Second Edition

Desert Island Valley - Second Edition

20 January 2021

During lockdown it can seem like we are each marooned on our ‘lockdown desert island’. Taking inspiration from the BBC’s long running radio series Desert Island Discs, each week we’re asking a member of staff at Woldingham to share what book he or she would take to their desert island and why.

This week’s book has been chosen by our Head of Computer Science, Mr Tom Rattle.

“I thought that deciding on a Desert Island Valley Book would be much easier than this! After much deliberation and overthinking (do I choose a book I’ve read many times, or a book I’d want to read on an island, or one that is longer so keeps me amused during the long days?) I pulled myself together. There was only one clear contender - the book on my shelves that looks the most worn, from being read so many times: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas.

My first encounter with D’Artagnan and his friends was in the form of a cartoon called Dogtanian and the Muskehounds. Please don’t YouTube it: it did not age well. I first read the book in my early 20’s but it gets picked up every couple of years and I devour it quickly. I love the writing of Dumas, especially his pacey dialogue, which often smashes back and forth between characters in a rapid exchange. This fits with the swashbuckling, heroic, fast-paced nature of the book. There are elements of the ridiculous to the plot but it is easy to throw yourself into it with gusto, accepting the idea that D’Artagnan would want to duel someone to the death for besmirching his honour with a throwaway comment (multiple times actually; our hero is quite easily offended). The setting is fantastic, with most of the events happening in Paris with the Musketeers running between streets either to pick fights or run away from the Machiavellian Cardinal Richelieu’s troops. I truly believe there is something for everyone in this book and heartily recommend it if you have not had a chance to read it.”