gathering the most trivial things in the world

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Via32, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Via32

    Via32 Senior Member

    Hi Everyone,

    Could you help me understand the following paragraph please, even asking a specific question is difficult for me because I just cannot make any sense of it.

    So this woman had been having an affair but the lover’s wife learnt about it, so she (the woman of the story) is very upset now and shattered, and is about to tell everything to her husband.

    “I get home on time after another day of gathering the most trivial things in the world: pilot training, a surplus of Christmas trees on the market, and the introduction of electronic controls at railroad crossings. This made me extremely happy, because I was in no condition, physical or mental, to think much.”
    Paulo Coelho - Adultery

    I’m trying to ask some questions to make my puzzlement more clear.
    How can one gather “training”, “Christmas trees” and “introduction”? And why would these above mention things be trivial? She suggests that these things don’t require much thinking - how come? A pilot training and introduction of electronic controls seem quite hard to me.
  2. Florentia52

    Florentia52 Modwoman in the attic

    English - United States
    You haven't given us enough context, Via32. I suspect the speaker is not actually taking pilot training or designing electronic controls. What does she do for a job? Is she a journalist?
  3. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    According to the preview on, the sentence says:
    ... gathering information about the most trivial things ...
  4. Via32

    Via32 Senior Member

    Yes she is a journalist!
    And with the additional two words Myridon mentioned (why are they missing from my book though?), it actually makes sense!
    Thank you both
  5. Uncle Jack

    Uncle Jack Senior Member

    Cumbria, UK
    British English
    Those words are missing from the copy I've found, which is exactly as Via32's quote.
  6. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    There are three copies with previews on that site. The incorrect one I see there is published by Random House India. The one from Alfred A Knopf and the one from Knopf Doubleday are correct.

    Addition: The link to Random House India leads to a site which I don't think is actually any relation to the real "Random House" publisher. :eek:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2018
  7. Via32

    Via32 Senior Member

    Mine is a paperback, published by Arrow Books, Penguin Random House UK, and still... :rolleyes:

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