Thursday, 24 May 2012

I've been cheating

Hi, I'm back from Dorset--lovely week of coastal walking! I have to say once I again I have been capricious and unfaithful in my reading during the Orange Prize shadowing. I finished 'Song of Achilles' in under 48 hrs, made a start on both 'Half Blood Blues' and 'Painter of Silence', only to abandon them for books that popped up in the library (and one recommendation from Muse--naughty Muse!). 

'Long Lankin' by Lindsey Barraclough. It's a YA crossover book based on the traditional English ballad of the same name, set in 1950s rural England. It is truly creepy and I thoroughly enjoyed it--even if it did mean I got completely creeped out by it one morning before work when I was reading it in silence and all the little pops and creaks of the flat around me seemed amplified and portentous. 

Then 'A Storm of Swords', the 3rd book in the epic 'Song of Ice and Fire' series by George RR Martin, turned my head for a good week, including my recent holiday. (We spent a lovely afternoon in the garden of the cottage where we staying, lounging on a picnic blanket while I read the book and hubby looked at local maps, and sipping chilled bitter shandy. ha ha)

And my most recent diversion has been the high concept novel, 'The Testimony' by James Smythe. It’s about what happens when everybody in the world hears what is widely suspected to be the voice of God. Another I read in under 48 hrs. It has 26 narrators--26! From all over the world, which was a great idea, and a fun exercise for the writer, I'm sure, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn't a greater distinction between them drawn through diction. Surely an MP, a French linguist, an African drug dealer and a teenager from Ohio would speak in quite distinct styles! Here, in my opinion, not so much. But it was still a gripping read. 

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