War on the Wheels

War on the Wheels
The story of the people

Sunday, 26 April 2009

So many ways to begin - Jon McGregor

First fulsome praise for independent bookshops, the Falmouth Bookseller in particular. I wanted to read books which set the world of work alongside domestic life. They had recommended Revolutionary Road and I loved that (see earlier blog). They also recommended this. It has a little less of the work place that is relevant to me but so much more.
The style to begin with put me off. I couldn't cope with dialogue and no speech marks. But slowly I got used to it and began to wonder why in reported speech we use speech marks at all.
The story follows the rhythm of a man looking through those things he has collected through life. With each object or paper there is a memory. The memories slowly fill in what for me was a jigsaw. As with jigsaws I found myself guessing what the missing pieces might be. Slowly McGregor yields them up and the picture becomes clearer.
His style is gentle as is his treatment of his characters. The feeling is of an author who genuinely cares for his creation.
In a way it is reminiscent of Penelope Lively's The Photograph.
Jon McGregor has written another work of great quality.

Monday, 6 April 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

After so many people told me how good this was, I had to read it. And now I have to admit that it is not for me. I have made it one third of the way and can see it is clever, but there is nothing grabbing me. Knowing me, I will press on a little further.

If any blog followers can tell me what they found in it, I would be truly grateful.