Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The reading pile

The last couple of weeks I've slowly been working my way through the toppling pile of books next to the bed.

I gave up on 'Mr Clive and Mr Page', at least for now. I still can't get my head round what's going on or who's who and when you only have time to read a few pages before you go to sleep, it's even more baffling. The book is exceptionally well written, original and intelligent and I'm hoping to pick it up again eventually, but just at the moment my head hurts too much.

Instead, I read 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes, which you might remember I picked up during a special offer at WH Smith a few weeks back. This book won the Man Booker prize of 2011 so I wasn't expecting it to be particularly readable - I've tried Booker-prize-winning books before and they were all rather strange. Added to that I tried Barnes' previous novel 'Arthur and George' and found it too tedious and slow to finish. But this one was very different. It's much shorter for one thing, and the prose bowls along, especially towards the beginning where Barnes is describing the main characters as teenagers. Actually, that was the best part of the book for me - very evocative with real insight into the trials and tribulations of being at school and being slightly different. After that, although the pages kept turning, it did rather descend into internal musing as the main character tried to work out whether he was responsible for a terrible event in his past or not. Overall I'd have preferred a little more action and a little less angst, but I was still pleasantly surprised and would happily read the book again. Not something I could say about one or two other Booker titles!

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