Why yes, actually.
I finished The Book Thief by Markus Zusak a couple of weeks ago. At first I didn’t like the rather mannered writing. The initial few chapters smell of the lamp, as the French say. (Apparently). You can feel the (young, Australian) author working really hard to come up with yet another clever metaphor to cram into the already very crafted sentences. Some paragraphs felt forced in their wistfulness. Much of it is beautiful but there are only so many artful lines one can take in one short paragraph before one becomes fatigued. But after a time I fell into its rhythm and the overworkedness of it lessened and I became engrossed by the story. And you have to love a story narrated by the character Death.
Next I picked up Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Such an ambitious book, but man, he pulls it off. This book includes several narratives set in Teh Olden Days, the 1930s, 1970s, 1980s, the future, and the way far off future. Each story breaks (at a cliffhanger usually) then continues later in the book in reverse order until you finish with the bit you started at, sort of. Links and common threads run throughout each story, and the writing matches each character and era which is a lot of fun. Lots of themes of beginnings and endings, and love and truth. It’s the kind of book where you can’t wait to get to it again, but don’t want it to finish. I had to digest this book for two whole days before picking up my next book (Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson). (Which I am thoroughly liking so far and she’s only just been born on page 43).
Oh, I’m also listening in the car to The Impressionist by Hari Kunzru. I read this a couple of years ago but am enjoying it even more on audio tape, especially as it’s read by the honey-voiced author himself. You know how you picture someone from their voice? I have this fantasy that this guy is a young hip London Indian who is absolutely truly madly deeply gorgeous. I read on another blog recently (can't remember who, sorry) that they, the blogger, listened to something read by 'some Brit called Simon Callow', and she had built up a beautiful fantasy of a Hugh Grant lookalike. Ahem. Simon Callow is a great actor but he does not resemble HG. Made me giggle. I wonder if my own fantasy is equally as far fetched? Must google.
Speaking of books, this was the scene on the dining table the other morning.
Have I mentioned before that Son #1 has an obsessive personality?
In other riveting news I’m knitting gnomes, sewing pumpkins and enjoying the break from baking birthday cakes right now.