December 2011......4 books read
John McFetridge – Swap
Michael Connelly – The Brass Verdict
Charles Cumming – Typhoon
Stephen Fry – Moab Is My Washpot
A bit of a flat end to the year, as I got a bit disheartened at my failure to hit my target of 100 books. I was never on pace all year, though August briefly gave me a glimmer of hope, which was short-lived. I think I had to force myself to read anything this month.
McFetridge has been likened to Elmore Leonard and once I got into this I enjoyed it. I’ve read Dirty Sweet previously, and will read him again in the future.
Michael Connelly, I have enjoyed for years; voraciously gobbling up his books one after the other. I think though that my enjoyment has waned considerably with the last few. As a writer has he peaked and is he now writing as he descends the other side of his creative mountain? It seems that as his books get longer in length, my enjoyment has contracted. If I was clever enough I could probably come up with a graph linking book length with satisfaction quota, as I’m sure there’s a definite correlation between the two.
Cumming - a bit disappointing to be honest, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I’d hoped to. Would give him another go though.
Stephen Fry divides opinion in my house. I think he’s witty, clever, entertaining and interesting. The rest of the household think he’s a knob.
His first autobiography was funny, sad, enjoyable, amusing, and a decent enough book to end the year on. Book of the month – Moab Is My Washpot.
Moab is My Washpot is in turns funny, shocking, tender, delicious, sad, lyrical, bruisingly frank and addictively readable.
Stephen Fry's bestselling memoir tells how, sent to a boarding school 200 miles from home at the age of seven, he survived beatings, misery, love, ecstasy, carnal violation, expulsion, imprisonment, criminal conviction, probation and catastrophe to emerge, at eighteen, ready to try and face the world in which he had always felt a stranger.
When he was fifteen, he wrote this in a letter to himself, not to be read until he was twenty-five:
'Well I tell you now that everything I feel now, everything I am now is truer and better than anything I shall ever be. Ever. This is me now, the real me. Every day that I grow away from the me that is writing this now is a betrayal and a defeat.'
Whether the real Stephen Fry is the man now living, or the extraordinary adolescent now dead, only you will be able to decide.