5 thoughts on “This Reading Life”

  1. Oh darn it, Ian. It is my birth­day in a couple of weeks and my poor fam­ily per­sist in ask­ing me what I want though I really wish they wouldn’t, as all I want is books and I already have 300. Anyway, in des­per­a­tion, I sug­ges­ted the Hornby as it has recently come out in pbk and I’ve quite liked his oth­ers (though gave 31 songs a miss).
    Now you imply it is so bad it isn’t even worth a review. Oh sigh.

    (My Dad aged 80 really enjoyed Brick Lane. Malcolm has it on his read­ing pile, but a nicer cov­er than your thumb­nail if I may be so bold. It is a white cov­er with the words BRICK LANE in rain­bow cap­it­als — push­ing the mes­sage home some­what?)

  2. Who knows, Maxine, maybe you’ll love it — lots of oth­er people did. Maybe I’m just in a funny mood. The Hornby book was bet­ter than Brick Lane, I think, though gen­er­ally dis­ap­point­ing. I’d be inter­ested to know what you think.

  3. My wife had pretty much the same reac­tion to Brick Lane. I don’t, meself, read new nov­els on grounds of hype-avoid­ance, though I glanced at the first page and noticed that the book should have begun with the second sen­tence, not the first.

    I’ve been work­ing as a book­seller since 2000, and one of the things I’ve come to real­ise is that any­thing can get a good review. Incidentally, there are — or were — about four books out there with “‘A tour de force’ — Will Self” on them. I’m con­vinced he puts the phrase into every review, simply to see if the pub­lish­er will use it yet again.

    It’s the prose, or the story. Nothing else counts.

  4. Thanks for your com­ment, Silver Eel. I’ll be stick­ing to the tried and test authors (e.g. Mitchell) for my hol­i­day in Croatia. Great blog, by the way.

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