Friday, August 17, 2012
An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.
No smoke on the water. The River Derwent, Sandy Bay. August 2012.
Two books this week. First up, The Death of Grass by John Christopher. This is a neat little post-apocalyptic novel that centres around the human response to a virus that kills off all forms of grass. While the swiftness with which society reverts to savagery strikes me as perhaps a little off, there is great power in the descriptions of man's culpability for the disaster. Indeed, this one is a very prescient book. Recommended.
Second up is The Dying Animal by Philip Roth. For a book that is ultimately about sex, it wears out its welcome reasonably quickly. A couple of imaginative paragraphs aside - Roth can write, after all - you can't help but think to yourself, 'get over it, you filthy old bugger!' Only for the keen.