If only I could communicate to you the tedium of reverse-proofing a manuscript. This is the process whereby you read a manuscript sentence-by-sentence, but start with the final page and work your way forward to the first page. So doing, it is easier to catch errors because the normal ‘constructive’ reading processes (e.g. imagining you can see the word ‘of’ when, in fact, the sentence does not contain it) are not fully engaged.
Bored yet? Try reading a novel backwards.
No highs for me (unless you count publication, which will actually signal nothing more than the beginning of the marketing phase for Deja Vu), but several highs for those authors lucky enough to be nominated for the Man Booker Prize. (At this pont, let me say that I do not hold out even the wildest hope that Deja Vu will be nominated; it is a genre novel.) One of my favourite books of the last two years, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, has been nominated and is also the favourite. I’m extremely pleased about this. The book is a wonderful composite novel that comprises several short stories on the theme of slavery, with characters from a 19th century traveler to a far-future man-on-the-run. One day I might do a full review of the book, but for the time being, I urge people to read it. It is a rare doobery indeed: a piece of experimental fiction that transcends its experimentalism.
I haven’t read the other books on the list, but I’ve spent a shocking amount on books already this month. My backlog has now reached about fifteen volumes.
Speaking of which.