August 05, 2009

Holiday Reading - Pynchon, Berry, Vila-Matas, Barker, Marĺas, Macdonald

I'm off on my jolly ol' hols soon so I've been stockpiling books to take with me. I always take more than I can possibly read in the time available. I like getting them out when I arrive at my destination and piling them all up. I like humming and hawing over which to start on. I like having the option to switch or read two or three at once. It's an essential part of holiday luxuriousness to have an excess of books to hand. So, these are the books I've decided to take with me:

"Inherent Vice" by Thomas Pynchon. Got it on Sunday, have already started it. It's like being on holiday early. Very funny, very good fun - Pynchon's Cali books are always a blast. Like, dude.

"The Manual of Detection" by Jebediah Berry. Read an article about it ages ago, I think, and stuck it in my basket on Amazon. So have now bought it, in hardback, without knowing much about it. That's holidays for you. The booktrade is relying on poor suckers like me. This means that William Heinemann can limp on for another, erm... hour?

"Montano" by Enrique Vila-Matas. The follow up to his excellent "Bartleby & Co," I meant to buy this shortly after I read the aforementioned but decided to wait until it was out in paperback. Which it never was. Sounds strangely familiar...

"Darkmans" by Nicola Barker. Have decided not to hold its Booker shortlisting against it - it might still be interesting, well-written, clever, possibly even innovative. It might. It really might. Also, having just read and enjoyed the considerably shorter "Reversed Forecast" I promised myself and an expectant world (haha) that I would. Also Jimmy Cash rates it. Incidentally, do authors have to write a big, long book before they're taken seriously?

"Your Face Tomorrow. 1: Fever and Spear" by Javier Marĺas. Someone else who I've been meaning to read. This one seemed to have the worst reader reviews on Amazon so is undoubtedly his masterwork. I found out recently that Marĺas is now King of Redonda. The first king having been M.P.Shiel, whose "masterpiece", "The Purple Cloud" I failed to finish on my last summer holiday. I hope it's not an omen...

"The Galton Case" by Ross Macdonald. There was a piece in the Guardian Review at the weekend saying he was better than Chandler and Hammett. A bit like saying that eating creamed cockroaches is "better than sex" (you know what these weekend supplements are like...) so I thought I'd better give him a go... arker

1 comment:

Jody Macgregor said...

"Incidentally, do authors have to write a big, long book before they're taken seriously?"

Chuck Palahniuk's the only one I can think of who skipped that step.