Just finished reading Crime and Punishment for the second time. The first time was twenty years ago when it was all Russian to me. Being older I had a better understanding of the novel this time.
One of the passages that caught my eye on this reading was when Raskolnikov, after five days of delirium, reads the previous five days newspapers. He is searching for details of the double murder. Before he sees the reports of his crime, there is a flavour of the news in Petersburg of that era. There is an accident on a staircase, four incidents of fires (was there an arsonist on the loose?) and spontaneous combustion of an alcoholic shopkeeper. This brought a smile to my face as I thought of a funny episode in a film.
In a scene from the rock music spoof, This is Spinal Tap, one of the band’s drummers dies from spontaneous human combustion. Most of the drummers, party animals, seem to have a small shelf life and die from various causes. But if you gotta go. SHC is as good as any.