|Portrait of Man Darning Socks|
Spin Cycle - Three women who work in a Glasgow laundrette: their lives, lack of love, and strange obsessions. Quite disturbing (Certificate 15 sex and violence), highly evocative of its environment and its time (absolutely contemporary). I could quibble with the likelihood of those characters working in a laundrette and I could complain about the denouement, but I won't. I liked the appropriate peppering of Scottish expressions through the narrative - not at all alienating, rather stylish.
Alone Together - Nah, not my sort of thing. People don't speak to each other now we have technology. "Let me experiment with my own child - oh, how interesting my child is." Really? Nothing startling.
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Oh my word. I almost stopped reading early on, because the death of Grandpa freaked me out. But I think I may have been having a sensitive day. The more I read, the more I thought it was a sort of sub-par Harry-Potter meets Sapphire and Steel with Americans trying to do Welsh accents. BUT... the idea of pinning the story around genuine Victorian photographs of Peculiar People made for compulsive, spooked reading. Probably more suitable for a Young Adult than an Old Cynic.
The Age of Shiva - ah, here we are, I thought! The Good Read! ( I thought.) I read Manil Suri's earlier book, The Death of Vishnu as soon as it was published, and was waiting for this for far too long, and somehow missed its publication. I love the flow of the writing, the immersion in a culture that it isn't my own, and the absolute humanity of the characters. I was taking my time with this one... until suddenly I had had enough. That uncomfortable-to-read tribute to breast-feeding at the beginning is revisited as the child gets older, and I suddenly thought: "I don't like the way this is heading. I don't trust this author enough to keep reading. Anything could happen..." So I stopped. I'm a sensitive soul. And something else? It was a library book and it was full of debris: hairs, crumbs, dead insects. Ugh. It put me right off.
Reading now?: a Biography of Sylvia Townsend Warner by Claire Harman.
P.S. Gratuitous photo of FL for no reason other than to prove that he does, in fact, darn his own socks!