Monday, 17 September 2007

Am I a wimp?

I read. I read lots and I read for fun as well as for work and studying. I love reading. I buy novels in threes and I rarely read the same book twice - I have the kind of memory which tells me who did it after the first couple of pages if I've already read that book. Some books I do reread, things by Anthony Burgess and ZAMM and Jupiter's Travels and a couple of others.

Recently though I've found that I can't finish some books. First up was Haddon's "A spot of bother". I got past halfway and there really wasn't anything happening. I don't need a double digit body count but the initial charm of its gentle humour wears off after a while. Now I'm struggling with Will Self's "Book of Dave". Those who vaguely know Self's name but not why might be half remembering him being banned from travelling as part of the press party with John Major after being caught nasally ingesting some Columbian marching powder in the lavatory on a prime ministerial flight, he was employed as a journalist by The Observer at the time. He was never allowed near Blair because of this lettle indiscretion. Anyways, Self is straightened out and flying right and is a good, if wordy, writer. "The Book of Dave" is really imaginative and well written and makes great use of language including a phonetic language of his own making but it's just so damn bleak. It's described as having some humour but it's unrelentingly downbeat in a range of time periods through flashbacks and flashforwards. It's erudite and makes me feel "virtuous" in the same way that eating lettuce does but I feel just as fulfilled. Maybe I need "fast-words" as well as fast food?

Am I being a wimp swapping away from Will Self and starting on "Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders"? Rumpole is an old and much loved favourite and I've not read this account of his first ever case alone and without a leader.

0 careful considerations: