Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The reading pile

I'm embarrassed to admit that I currently have seven books in a heap by the side of the bed, plus a couple of ebooks I'm part way through. Every time I finish a book I seem to add another two or three and the pile never really gets any smaller. There are too many interesting books out there, dammit, and not enough time to read!

Currently I'm worrying my way through 'Mr Clive and Mr Page' by Neil Bartlett. When I first started it I thought it was really good, with an intriguing plot linking gay characters throughout the early part of the twentieth century, and some excellent prose writing. But... the more I read, the less I can work out what's going on. It's rather like stumbling around in a bowl of oxtail soup - everything seems cloudy, somehow. I don't even know for certain who the main character/narrator is, and I don't know the full names of the other important characters, and I don't know exactly when the book is set. There are flashbacks after flashbacks, and flashbacks within flashbacks, and an uneasy sense that the events being portrayed never happened at all but are simply in the narrator's imagination. And I'm already around a third of the way through, by which time I should have some idea of who's who and what's what.

I'm hoping everything will become clear by the end because at the moment it's quite simply driving me nuts!


Bill Kirton said...

A long time ago, I decided that life was too short and there were far too many books I wanted to read to waste time on those that didn't hold my attention or turned out to be frustrating or predictable or whatever. OK, it probably means that I've missed some goodies but if I'm not hooked by the 5th or 6th page, or if I am but then the writer loses me again, the book goes into the charity bag.
And Kindle has made this even worse. It's so easy to buy the things (or get the freebies)that just reading the titles of the unread ones takes ages.

Fiona Glass said...

I have the patience of a gadfly and tend to be very much the same. This one is borderline, though - just intriguing enough to make me want to keep reading, although I have a feeling I shall regret it!