Monday, April 17, 2006

Holiday books

I'm sure other people have a similar experience - you have to go all the way to another goddam country to settle down and read a book properly, away from other distractions such as, erm, blogging.

Anyway, read - at last - Ian McEwan's Saturday. Definitely worth reading buuuuuut - there's a couple of problems with it.

Here's some reviews. Most have complimentary things to say; one or two think it was pretty poor.

None of them, though, have made reference to the problems I had with it. Did anyone else think Henry's kids were unrealistically precocious? One, possibly - but two? And at things like poetry and music? And we're told that Daisy didn't really have an interest in politics until the Iraq war and all of a sudden she's coming out with arguments more sophisticated than you get from the average antiwar activist? Hmmm.

And another thing, what I presume was a simple mistake, was really annoying - which was: what the hell happened to Nigel, eh? Henry and the boy can't rush Baxter because Nigel is there too. Baxter tells Nigel to watch the rest of the family ("they're all dangerous") while he and Henry go up the stairs, only to be tossed down said stairs by Henry and his implausibly-advanced-in-the-blues-playing-department son. That's the last you hear about Nigel, after that his character simply evaporates from the pages. I'm sorry but that's pretty shabby workmanship - unless I missed something? Answers on a postcard please.

Jarhead, on the other hand, is a must-read. Someone described the film to me and it doesn't sound true to the book, really. Book's good.

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