This Writing Life
Writer and psychologist.
View all posts by Ian Hocking
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?)
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.
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.
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.
Thank you. Have fun with the Croats.
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