The Book Thread

  • Moonlit Knight's post in Food And Drink reminded me of the book I'm currently reading, Colum McCann's Apeirogon.


    It is the story of a Palestinian father whose child was killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is also the story of an Israeli father whose child was killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And of their mutual understand that "it is not over until we talk".


    It is more than that, though. It is a "panorama in a caleidoscope" of the conflict between Israel and Palestine. I am half-way through the book, and I must say that it has given me a much clearer understanding of why it seems so frustratingly impossible to solve this mess or make sense of it. The metaphor for this is the apeirogon, a geometrical shape with a countable infinite number of sides.

    ...cried a voice in the crowd.


  • I just finished Stephen King's latest book, Billy Summers.


    It's about an ex-army hitman taking on the old "one last job". He's got a fairly strict moral code and only targets bad guys. He's a very interesting character; he's very intelligent, but pretends to be dumb with his employers (not spoiling anything here) as a way of shielding himself. The story that plays out in concert with his backstory is remarkable.


    It's sublime. Such rich characters, deep rivulets of narrative throughout, perfectly observed nuggets about daily life, and a rawness and poignancy that's extremely difficult to achieve. The structure is cool too, it's kind of languid and intentionally predictable for the first half (but great for all that), then it takes a very unexpected turn and has a much, much different second half. Barely anything supernatural. It's all very real. I read it in no time.


    I know his "place" in literature is controversial (or something). I can't imagine a more inane argument. The dude's a legend and one of the best writers ever.


    On the topic of music and books linking together - Objects in the Rearview Mirror by meat loaf was stuck in my head for much of this book.

  • Some may remember Monty Python's All England Summarise Proust Competition. I now know why they wrote that sketch.


    For years I have told myself I needed to read A la recherche du Temps Perdu (In search of lost time). I bought the first three volumes. There are SEVEN volumes in all.


    I am struggling manfully through Volume 1, Swann's Way, and all I can say is if you want to read endless descriptions of the smell of flowers and a trawl through an obsessive love affair with a woman the hero (Swann) admits isn't even very admirable....


    I hate leaving books unfinished, but this is the closest I've ever come. All I can think is 'surely it will start to improve soon', 'surely the guy isn't this self-indulgent', 'surely there is some point to all of this'. This is after 150 pages of the narrator's childhood reminiscences before we even get to Swann.

  • It won't, he is, there isn't, and DON'T call me Shirley! :)

    Ian


    Works with chess - Not with life

  • Books I find difficult to read are fantasy or certain Sci/Fi books. Reason being I can never remember the characters names or picture who's who. I end up getting confused.🤓😫... My brain cannot retain such names. These names are so weird, some quite long.

  • Watching Airplane is a million times more fun than this book.

    But you haven't got to volume 5 yet. Just wait - he's in his mother's apartment and - oh no, actually that's it.


    But hold on! He experiences jealousy. And pines for Venice. Or something. Sorry - I forgot to use the spoiler tags there, I've ruined it for you now.

    Abandon all reason

  • But you haven't got to volume 5 yet. Just wait - he's in his mother's apartment and - oh no, actually that's it.


    But hold on! He experiences jealousy. And pines for Venice. Or something. Sorry - I forgot to use the spoiler tags there, I've ruined it for you now.

    I've already had the jealousy & the pining for Venice & how nothing is ever good enough for either Swann or the narrator. If I were to be charitble I would say that Swann's Way is not a book about love, but mental illness. I am going to try & go on with Within A Budding Grove. <X