Wednesday, 6 August 2008

David Lodge: Deaf Sentence

This book is clearly a David Lodge book. If you didn't know the provenance of the author, it would have become apparent on reading the first chapter. Although the place the book is set in is some vague Northern Town, it still is with the main character being a retired University Lecturer in Linguistics (pretty similar to Professor Lodge).

It takes a little while to get into the book, but the pun of the title points out the trials and tribulations of being deaf and how this interacts with the surroundings.

The characterisation is strong and it is an easy book to finish, although I would say that there is little deep meaningful insights in it.

I enjoyed it, but wait till it comes out in paperback.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

The Sandcastle: Iris Murdoch

The Sandcastle is a quintessentially English novel, and it is crafted by one of the finest of 20th Century English Novelists, Iris Murdoch.

The story revolves around the troubled marriage of a Teacher Bill Mor and his wife Nan, and the effect of the appearance in their daily routine of a young painter, Rain Carter. Rain is being commissioned to paint a portrait of the retired senior master, Demoyte, but she has an increasingly troublesome effect on Mor, his wife and their children Donald and Felicity.

The novel glides through towards its apotheosis in great style and is one of those books that you are happy to have read, and put down with a contented sigh.

Random Acts of Heroic Love: Danny Scheinmann

This is a really good book, and deserves a wider circulation.

Essentially the narrative falls into two sections, one describing a young man whose girlfriend dies in an accident in Ecuador in the late 1990s, and the other part is about a long journey of an Austrian Soldier who traverses Siberia and Russia with only the thought of love in his mind, set during the main part of the first world war.

The stories intertwine towards the end of the narrative, and there is a strong autobiographical feel to the book that is implicit throughout.

The pain of grief, the effect of love and the offshoots of both are well developed in a book that I hope will be read by many.

I suspect that the author has put so much of himself into this book that it is likely to be his Magnum Opus.