Archive | March, 2013

Van has finished reading…Room by Emma Donoghue

18 Mar

This is probably the worst story I’ve had to read. Yet there’s the imperative. I couldn’t not read it. The point of view is the masterstroke of this book, allowing the presentation of some truly harrowing narrative that I suspect a lot of readers wouldn’t have got through had it been presented from an adult’s perspective. It moves the reader expertly through a range of emotion, but throughout the book there is an underlying sense of vulnerability that left me at times feeling helpless and even angry. It may not be advisable to read this in public though, unless you have a supply of tissues handy.

It is a masterpiece.

Van has finished reading…The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt

15 Mar

I read this book too quickly. It’s testament to its simple presentation that I got so completely sucked in by it. At the end I found myself thinking that I’d missed the depth of it. Despite the content it’s actually a quietly presented story, so that moments of menace gain weight, where it would have been so easy to over-write, to try and inject tension, which would ultimately have diffused it.

 A moment that lingers, that encapsulates this is the first time reputation is alluded to.

“We are Charlie and Eli Sisters.”

It’s enough.

I will read this one again, but more slowly next time.

Van has finished reading…Nice Work by David Lodge

7 Mar

I don’t know anything about critical theory. To be honest, I’m not sure I want to, though doubtless even a basic knowledge would have heightened my enjoyment of this book. You can always find a grass is greener mentality if you look hard enough. What with universities facing swingeing cuts, business under fire, a rampant recession brewing and bankers…well not doing anything differently, it’s only when house prices are mentioned that you find yourself well and truly rooted in 1987. If you love what you do, then what you do is nice work.