Monday 11 January 2010


About A S Byatt's The Children's Book: an immediate obstacle to reading it is the SIZE of the thing, so heavy, far too heavy, difficult to hold. It is partly redeemed by the attractive cover which suits the story well...She depicts a family with seven children, a beautiful artistic mother absorbed in the fairy tales she writes. We follow the fate of the children: in fact, no one is who they appear to be (I won't say more).

Reality is masked, and then masked again by all the play-acting, and the play-acting itself is in the realm of magic and fairies, getting more and more unreal until it can't go any further...And then World War I arrives, death, destruction, reality with a vengeance.

A commentary on today? Virtual reality versus reality tout court ?
The novel as a whole is uneven, and certainly too long, but I enjoyed it and the thinking it triggered.

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