I was at Costco the other day looking for a book to take on our vacation, and I came across one with a front page that looked vaguely familiar. Upon inspection I discovered it was Mark Haddon’s latest, a spot of bother. The front page looked familiar because it was similar to another book of his I’ve read, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.
I really enjoyed The Curious Incident so I picked up this one, and I wasn’t disappointed. It’s about a 57-year-old man who is quietly going mad amid his wife’s affair, his son’s homosexuality, and his daughter’s upcoming wedding to a man no one in the family likes.
The format is really short chapters (two to three pages), basically cycling through the family members and describing the sequence of events from their point of view. It was the best book I’ve read in ages, and I highly recommend it. Definitely a good vacation read!
I have pretty much no recall capabilities when it comes to reading, TV and movies. More than once I’ve picked up a book at my mum’s place, and five chapters in realize I read the book six months ago. And while I remember major plot lines and endings for movies, I forget all of the details.
On the other extreme, you have kaptaink, who used to give me a detailed plot description of Law and Order episodes during our 30 minute commute to work. But I digress…
The lack of recall is annoying when I’m reading an interesting magazine article that I want to remember details of to relate to others, but it’s coming in handy right now. I’ve decided I want to read a bit more, but because I don’t have a lot of time, I want to read books that I know I’ll like. So I’m going through my small library and re-reading books I haven’t read in 10 to 15 years. I started with Jane Smiley’s Duplicate Keys, and next up is Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone. The latter was one of my all time favourite books way back when, so we’ll see if it still appeals to me.
When I am into a good book, all I want to do is read. I stay up later than I should, I read when I could be spending time with Greg, and when I’m not reading I think about when I’ll be able to get back to my book. Then after all that I feel disappointed when I finish the book.
I find it a bit too consuming. But since I’m not willing to give up reading good books, I guess I’ll just have to live with it.