Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Wire creatures and recent reading

Do look at these wonderful wire sculptures by Laura Antebi here.  Scroll through the website for the pics. You will instantly desire one. I can't remember who highlighted her work recently but thank you.

Recent reading
Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1940 Pulitzer prize) Moving, interesting and eminently worthwhile, but, while I admire his prose and wonderful descriptions, I found the novel tough going at times because of all the transliterated Mid-western dialect, and, of course, the sad story. You’ve probably read it but if you haven’t here’s a blurb. “Set during the Great Depression, it traces the migration of a desperately poor Oklahoma farming family to California and their subsequent hardships. The work did much to publicize the injustices of migrant labour.” I only hope that the Joads’ terrible struggles don’t have any resonance with immigrant workers in Europe today.

A major contrast: to my surprise I enjoyed Rosamunde Pilcher’s Winter Solstice much more the second time I read it. Almost nothing happened but there’s an excellent description of a lovely town in the NE corner of Scotland. I liked her comfortable characters too.

Before that, another, more demanding world: I reread Kasuo Ishiguro’s intriguing novel When We Were Orphans. Here’s a blurb for this one: "Christopher Banks has dedicated his life to detective work but behind his successes lies one unsolved mystery: the disappearance of his parents when he was a small boy living in the International Settlement in Shanghai. Moving between England and China in the inter-war period, the book encompasses the turbulence and political anxieties of the time and the crumbling certainties of a Britain deeply involved in the opium trade in the East." He’s a fascinating writer but I never exactly believe in Ishiguro’s strange characters – they seem to be more of medium for examining moral dilemmas than real people.

7 comments:

Karen said...

Fantastic photos - they have a real energy about them :o)

I've tried Ishiguro's When We Were Orphans, but couldn't get on with it I'm afraid!

Debs said...

Such clever sculptures.

Jan Jones said...

It was Jill Mansell, wasn't it? She found them as research for a new book.

Rattling On said...

Love the horse.
Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men is a GCSE text and I am heartily sick of going over and over it. Like the Grapes of Wrath it is also hard going. Steinbeck never lets up. Bad goes to worse and then to tragedy. No namby pamby feelgood factor in his stuff...unfortunately.

French Fancy said...

I've never read any Steinbeck - but then I only recently read my first Graham Greene.

I love that sculpture

callmemadam said...

Love the new page style!

Susie Vereker said...

Thanks for your interesting comments. I find I read quite a mix these days. Now reading Lisa Jewell, much easier going than Steinbeck, but she has her serious side.
Glad you like the layout, B.