Not really. Light reading, that is. It’s been a summer of big, get-your-brain-whirring novels for me. I left The BBC Big Read for a while, and it was nice to read a couple of my own choices, to be honest.
‘Last Night in Twisted River’, by John Irving, was lent to my by my best friend; we share a love of Irving’s books. Actually, we share a love of all books; I don’t personally know anyone else who inhales the printed word in the same way as the two of us.
This story certainly isn’t up there with Irving’s best – comparing it to, say, ‘A Prayer for Owen Meany’ is a bit like comparing leaves and concrete – but it was still an enjoyable, identifiably-Irving read. I loved the way it began, and the way it ended, and the way it came full circle (the main character is writing a novel, and his starting lines are those of this story, which is clever and so fun to read). I loved the commentary on the main character’s prolific use of semicolons, one of Irving’s own quirks, and I loved that it featured bears, like every good Irving story should. I found the middle tedious and a bit long-winded and in some parts, unnecessary; my friend felt the same, but we both agreed this didn’t detract from the good bits.
Next up was my first-but-definitely-won’t-be-the-last Huraki Murakami novel, ‘Kafka on the Shore’. Wow. Just…wow. Talk about a metaphysical workout for the brain!! I won’t claim to have “got” it all, but it made me think in a way I haven’t done in a very long time. It took a few chapters to grip me, and then I was consumed by a need to read it. I’m currently working on a review for 1001 Books to Read Before You Die, at the same time as letting myself digest it a bit more.
For the first time in…probably ever, I didn’t rush straight into a new book once finished; I took a couple of days to savour it, to think it over and relish the way it made me think.
And then I got back onto the list with ‘Heart of Darkness’, by Joseph Conrad. I’m struggling to get into it, but have high hopes from reading the blurb on the back. Poor book has it tough, following Murakami though.
Linking up with lovely Simone and other book lovers