Tuesday, August 5, 2008

A few days ago a glowing Douglas full of the highest praise handed me a book saying I simply had to read it; he just couldn’t put it down. Well I keep picking it up and putting it down; have got to page 75 and truly wonder if I’m going to make it to the end. I hate starting a book and not finishing it but I guess there are some that fall into the unable to finish category and this might just be one of them. It comes with obviously universal critical acclaim, e.g., The Guardian –A novel of breath-taking scope, masterfully told.

Daily Express – A weighty novel worthy of universal acclaim. Woman & Home – Quirky, engaging, and beautifully written. Well I will agree with that first word “quirky.” Quirky it most definitely is. If I read another truly weird adjective pinned to a noun I think I’ll … How come I can’t go along with Douglas and the critics? Is my wavelength so totally off beam that I simply can’t tune in to this guy? I’m all for style, I’m all for imagery, but this in my humble opinion is bordering on the ridiculous. Once upon a not so long ago stream of consciousness was all the rage, theatre of the absurd was all the rage, at least with the critics, maybe this is a new type of writing. You write quirky little paragraphs (can’t really call them chapters) with funny little headings, you write funny little sayings and put in funny little drawings and put truly quirky adjectives in front of your nouns and all the critics will say, “Wow! This boy is a fiendish genius!” Well, as it is my current loo book and I only need to look at it for minutes at a time (unless it truly grabs me) I shall persevere and if, when I come to the end, (presuming I do reach the end) I have changed my mind I will write and say so but so far the omens are not good. The book in question just in case anyone’s curiosity has been aroused is The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Is this boy for real? He must be, there is so much work involved, but I can’t help feeling I’m experiencing a passing vision of the emperor’s new clothes.

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