Have decided to make shorter posts, because they are easier to write and a damn sight easier to read.
So. I read Hot Milk by Deborah Levy. It’s on the Booker list, so I felt I would be enriching my mind by reading it. But I found my mind didn’t want enriching as it kept wandering.
Levy paints a good picture of Spain, and I enjoyed reading about the weather and the heat and the smells. But I didn’t care much about the people who inhabit this particular bit of it. Sofia’s mother is unable to walk and suffers from a variety of ailments, including an aversion to ‘certain types of water’. So to distract herself she gets into bed with a couple of weird people and flies off to visit her dad and his new wife who is 40 years his junior. None of which is particularly interesting.
The book is possibly supposed to be funny in places, but left me poe-faced. If I were stung by a load of jellyfish and had to race across the beach for aid I would still notice if my bikini top had fallen off. Perhaps Sofia is not as blessed as I am.
Like when I read Anne Tyler, I feel like I am missing something, and am somehow less intelligent by not getting why a book is so good. I have stumbled across another writer who (in my opinion, not that that counts for much) is trying too hard to be a writer – who is so aware of prose, literary reference and being Deep and Meaningful that she forgets plot.
Barbara Erskine’s latest, Sleeper’s Castle is due back to the library next week. Here is a lady who knows how to tell a story! So to date I am still unMount!ed. ‘Twas ever thus…