Friday, May 21, 2010


I finished reading Ian McEwan's SOLAR a few weeks ago. It was amazingly good; I enjoyed it thoroughly. It seems a departure from his usual style, but nevertheless brilliantly written and interesting. The humour in this book was as precise in timing as a good stand-up comic. I laughed out load many times. I don't really remember McEwan being that funny, but it just goes to show you the extent of this writer's talent. As usual, too, his writing was crisp and smooth---I'd give an arm to be able to write like him. I would definitely recommend this novel to all interested in a delightful story of a deep thinking scientist who trivializes his life and his relationships. I think that if there ever is a moral in this novel it would be centered around the idea that when you focus on the big picture to a great extent, you miss the important things that are going on around you. And these in the long run are the most important. Excellent book.

But I noticed that SOLAR has dropped down on the best-seller list, which is a pity. I could never understand that list anyway. Yann Martel's BEATRICE & VIRGIL have been riding high on the list for some time now despite the fact that it received scathing reviews. This doesn't surprise me at all. I wrote about his earlier novel LIFE OF Pi in a former post. The novel left me wondering that maybe a better writer would have brought this all to a satisfying point. He certainly didn't. But there was so much hype surrounding this novel with web sites and facebooks and such that it began to soar---for reasons that elude me. Therefore, it seemed everyone waited with anticipation and money for his next venture. But it is all hype; the novel doesn't deserve that.

Another book---not a novel---that's taken off now is THE BOOK OF AWESOME by Neil Pasricha. It's a list of things that we all enjoy, like the cool side of the pillow, bursting bubble wrap, and so on. First, I absolutely hate the title and the overused word "Awesome", and secondly, I couldn't imagine a more boring book to read than a list of things that may or may not make you feel all fuzzy. It's a huge waste of time and paper, but some folks like this trivial stuff. I don't get it. Maybe someone should write a book called THE BOOK OF BUMMERS, and list this book as one of them.

I swear, if it doesn't start to get warm around here, I'm moving away in search of the sun. This Island is constantly wrapped in cloud, mist, fog, and dampness...oh, and wind---lots of wind. My Dad use to say that our ancestors chose to live here because the weather was like that in Scotland, but had no idea that there were sunnier and warmer place on this Earth. My wife tells me I'm becoming an old crab, so be it, just don't put me in that cold, damp, foggy ocean. Brrrr.

Next: summer reading---if we ever get a summer.

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