I always run out of blogging time before I think up a good blog title. Sigh.
This is a brief round-up of what I’ve been reading.
Career Of Evil. Robert Galbraith.
I bought the latest Galbraith ( J.K. Rowling) offering, full-price and hot off the press, as an early Christmas present to myself. This is the third in the Cormoran Strike detective series and, in my opinion, delightfully entertaining. It’s scary enough to keep you turning the pages, romantic enough to be fun and smart enough to be satisfying.
Cormoran may not be quite up with with Ross Poldark in the attractive literary hero stakes but I admit to finding him easy on the imagination. If you were a fan of Bruce Willis in Moonlighting you should enjoy this book.
Teenage Son read all three Strike books over the Christmas holidays. His verdict is that the the first is great and the other two are ‘grand’. I might add that we Irish use grand as a marginally derogatory term, a way of damning with faint praise. Teenage Son is a harsh critic.
The Girl On TheTrain. Paula Hawkins.
I bought this book because of the hype. Nothing about the cover or the blurb would have tempted me and I’m a bit disappointed in myself that I fell for it.
The premise, a girl sits on a train looking in to her old back garden and wonders how her ex-husband is getting on with his new wife and child, is intriguing if a bit creepy. The writing is downbeat, echoes the rhythm of the train and pushes forward at a driving pace.
I read this book quickly but I can’t say that I enjoyed it. I found each and every character unlikeable in the extreme and I guessed the big twist. It’s a book without a hero.
If you’re deliberating between this and Gone Girl, read Gone Girl first. It’s better. If you adore Gone Girl you will probably like this (faint praise may be the house speciality).
Me Before You. Jojo Moyes.
What do you say about a book that sets out to make you cry from page one? That is was beautiful. And brilliant.
(Love Story? Anyone that old out there?)
Look, it’s a sobfest. Do you need to know more?
Lou and Will are beautiful and heroic in every way.
Read it (not in public) and weep liberally. Let it all out. Cleanse your soul of every sad thought. Enjoy every moment of fictional tragedy. It’s fabulous; I loved it.
The Old Man and the Sea. Ernest Hemingway.
Now THIS is a sad book. I think this is the saddest book that I have read. It may also be the best book that I have read.
I spent four hours curled in a chair reading this. Storm Frank was lashing the window beside me and the dog was curled at my feet.
I was transported, not just to another world, but to another life. For four hours I was that old man. I felt the sun, the thirst, the muscle aches and the rope strain around my shoulders.
The story is so short and so specific and yet, it’s the story of everything. It’s the story of how we fight the big fights, with our eyes set mostly on some big prize and then lose everything to the smallest battles.
To be honest, I was blown away and I don’t feel well equipped to analyse this book.
I want to believe that the old man was less heartbroken than I was at the end of the book. I think that he was older and wiser and quietly resigned to the way of things. I think that he would tell me that it was better to have won and lost than to have never tried. I think that he was proud and rightly so.
He was a hero, just for one day.