Monday, 20 October 2008

Outside the village pub. Recent reading.

Recent reading:
Blown away, horrified and gripped. That’s how I felt reading This Boy’s Life by Tobias Wolff. But I didn’t quite believe every word. The narrator confesses he was a liar and I wasn’t sure what was true and what wasn’t. This is now a set book in schools, I gather, and it is a brilliantly drawn memoir of the author’s boyhood involving his charming mother, hopeless with men, and his unpleasant backwoodsman stepfather. Do read it. (I expect my US friends already have.)

I enjoyed Sue Gee’s The Mysteries of Glass eventually, but, though her descriptions of the Herefordshire countryside in Victorian times were excellent, I found the characters weren’t strong enough to draw me in until finally, after 200 pages, something happened. Then I was hooked, but I nearly didn’t stay the course. This book made the Orange longlist in 2005 and is, indeed, well written – the beautiful misty repressed atmosphere stayed with me.

1 comment:

Jan Jones said...

Hmm. Not convinced I'd last out 200 pages waiting to be hooked, however beautifully written.