Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Quickly, quickly

Read the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (Maclehose Press, 2008, bad translation from Swedish by Reg Keeland). Strictly air travel reading. The characters lack psychological credibility - particularly his male protagonist, funnily enough - the writing is not very good, and at the same time one wants to know what happens next, so can't put down. Sexually it is a male fantasy.
A waste of time. He is not another Henning Menkel, despite being Swedish.

In the Kitchen by Monica Ali (Transworld Publishers - Doubleday, 2009) reminded me a bit of Nadeem Aslam in the richness of language and the wealth of metaphor - is this the influence of being fluent in a language from a completely different language group? Again, hard to put down. Enjoyed the book, was interested in the world she created, particularly the kitchen and the hotel, and yet it is not a book I want to keep to read again. However, it does make me want to read Brick Road, which I suspect is the book where her heart lies.

Monday, 8 February 2010


No writing for a long time, due to the very long 'festive' period - visitors and being away. Read two A S Byatt books from my shelves. I have little memory of ever having read them - only a vague familiarity...They were The Game (1967) and Babel Tower, (19..). Then spent time reading up about her and her sister on Wikipedia. It interests me to assess how much reality is used to create fiction. And I am nosy.
Both books are impressive.
That's all for today: I've not written for a long time and it has become hard. Ankylose, a French word to denote a kind of physical stiffness which is superimposed on a limb - includes the connotation that something was supple before, which the word stiff does not have. My little Larousse says either stiff or numb. Numb might be better, but is sensory only.
Enough of this.