Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Beech trees, bench and Baltimore

The bench that was painted Kermit green hasn't faded that much but I've got used to it.

Recent Reading
Much enjoyed Anne Tyler's new novel, Noah's Compass.  'Wise, gently humorous, it's about a schoolteacher, forced to retire at sixty-one, coming to terms with the final phase of his life. Liam Pennywell, who set out to be a philosopher and ended up teaching, never much liked the job so early retirement doesn't bother him. What does bother him is that he has lost the memory of what happened the first night after he moved into his spare, efficient condominium on the outskirts of Baltimore. All he knows when he wakes up a day later in the hospital is that his head is sore and bandaged.' 
Apart from the hospital scene, this is another novel about the gentle minutae of ordinary life.  Two wives gave up on Liam and he doesn't seem to connect strongly with his daughters. He's is a quiet man who doesn't expect or give much, but he's interesting all the same.  Amazing how Anne Tyler writes so brilliantly about unexceptional events.  She's like Jane Austen in that sense though obviously current day Baltimore is different from C18 Bath. I'm sure people will read Anne Tyler in centuries to come.
I don't know if this new novel would appeal to the young but it appealed to me.  Here's a Guardian review.


LindyLouMac said...

I have enjoyed earlier novels from Anne Tyler so liking the sound of your review I will be adding this to my wishlist.
I can always rely on you to come up with some good recommendations for the list Susie, Thankyou.

Debs said...

Thanks for this review, I have a couple of Ann Tyler books in my tbr pile and will have to go and find them now.

Vintage Reading said...

I must read this. I've read a few novels by Tyler. I loved The Accidental Tourist.