Monday, 19 January 2009

A few holiday reads

My favourite book of the holiday, Bryson is just so good at clearing muddied waters. I have always struggled to enjoy Shakespeare, but after reading this it was like a veil was lifted and he was a mystery to me no more. I almost feel ready for Hamlet now!
I managed to read a great deal whilst on holiday despite Leylas best efforts to make me compete in a record breaking attempt at Dr Who top trumps

My favourite quote of them all is.

'Books generally just confirm in you what you have perhaps unwittingly decided to do already.

You go to a book to have your convictions corroborated. A book as it were closes the book'.

This is a quote from A bit slow to get going, the story is a simple one, but become more profound towards the end. The quote above resonated with me as I do very frequently chose books not by their cover but by whether I can empathise at all with any of the characters.
This rule is obviously not enforced all of the time. I am often drawn to very esoteric narratives as well, but even they I prefer, when pegged on a place I know or an event that interest me.
Nor does it explain my ever constant fascination with murder. As a teenager I read every single book the library van had on murder, real, fiction, I did not care, I devoured them all. I had no plans to kill and I have never had an experience of violent death, but even now I like nothing better than a good detective story.

I love Alan Bennett, he is a genius at capturing the tiny nuances of human nature. This book has both sets of stories, I preferred the first set as the latter set I found so dark they were quite unsettling.

A classic example of falling for the review, all this book did was irritate me, I wanted to give her a metaphorical 'slap' I came away empathising with her mother and I was not in the least charmed by her, I found the pieces such a hotch potch of inane tangents (not dissimilar to my emails I suspect) that I really struggled to finish the book

This reads like one long suicide note, how depressed can one man be, I did LOL though how could you not? Although I struggled to empathise or relate to him on any level, I did enjoy the crispness of his dialogue.

Hells bloody bells, how dark can a book be? I did not really pay much attention to the blurb, having read Lovely Bones I was not anticipating an easy ride, but this was so dark.

Not once have I ever dreamt of killing my mother, even at my lowest ebb my plan was always to get as far away from her as possible, so I found the story difficult, and yet despite this I could empathise with certain strands of the narrative. Even so it was a relief to finish it.
I am now just beginning Sebastian Faulks Engelby, all about Cambridge, whats not to love?


La Belette Rouge said...

I am going to pick up Bryson and Bennett. I did enjoy moments of "I was told..." I have to admit for the most part it made me feel hope that I could get my moans and complaints published and that is enough reason for me to enjoy a book. Oh, and, Sedaris' latest book was not my favorite. I didn't laugh out loud like I did with his other books( and I am an easy laugher).

indigo16 said...

I will try the others, I think you write with greater sensitivity than him, I think he maybe trying too hard sometimes.