Friday, October 21, 2011
One must be an inventor to read well. There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.
Bee! Bath Street, Sandy Bay. October 2011.
Two books this week, both very different.
The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald features a small town filled with odd characters who are at once marvellously horrid, pathetic and courageous.
It’s a short novel, and with an oddly unredemptive conclusion (which is generally up my alley). As it is, the chief moral is the ways in which bullies can be given enormous power by lots of people not bothering to do very small things.
One of the chief pleasures of this book is the vivid recreation of time and place: a bleak seaside village during the late-1950s in a Suffolk, England. The weather and the topography of the area are characters in themselves.
I've really enjoyed everything I have read by Fitzgerald, and The Bookshop is no different. Highly recommended.
The Comfort of Strangers is Ian McEwan's second novel, a tale set in Venice that explores a disintegrating English couple that endeavour to resurrect their relationship through a series of encounters with a peculiar local couple.
This tale of sexual perversion and obsession is not for everybody. It's well constructed and has a slow build towards an horrific climax. Not for the faint-heartened.