A Curious Start

Curiouser and curiouser

2007 has barely shrugged off it’s New Year hangover and already I’ve done something I’ve never done before.
I read a book. (wow, big deal. Ed)
From cover to cover. (hey Magwitch that’s what you’re supposed to do. Ed)
In one sitting. (ok, for you that is a big deal. Ed)

Still feeling a little under the weather I wasn’t quite sure what to do with myself yesterday evening so I thought I’d sit down and start onEight Months on Ghazzah Street” by Hilary Mantel. I’d read another of her books, “Fludd” last week, which I enjoyed immensely and heartily recommend, and I was surprised to find my local library had something else by her.

Apparently I’m a bit of an inept reader, by which I mean that I still mentally talk to myself while I read. According to the experts that’s poor practice and makes for less recall and poorer understanding. In my defense I would say that I enjoy words; I love books that are like poetry; rich sensual phrases that conjure up vivid images; and somewhere I read that to really enjoy and appreciate poetry it needs to be read out loud. So I read to myself – in my head. It does mean that a book can take me a while to get through and this one, at nearly 300 pages did take more than a few hours. Ok, so there were breaks for coffee and sending and receiving a steady stream of New Year’s text messages, but I was finished by the early hours of the morning. The former Mrs M, who’s a very rapid reader, would have polished the whole thing off before midnight and still had time prepare celebration drinks.

Was a great book? No, not really. I certainly got caught up in the atmosphere of the writing. I was right there with the main characters on Ghazzah Street such is Mantel’s ability to evoke the sights, sounds and smells of her protagonist’s location. To be honest, there are also bits of the plot that I’m still not clear on, so this is not going to be a recommended read, unlike ‘Fludd’ which everyone should get hold of.

What, perhaps, was most surprising was that I never got tired. Regular readers will recall that I’ve been sleeping ridiculous hours lately but last night I felt as bright as a button, right up until the end. I’ve got a feeling my circadian rhythms are all back to front at the moment, hence why I sleep in late and seem to be awake at 3 a.m. Might be useful though as I’m back on nights from tomorrow.

So, will 2007 be a year of doing different things? Let’s hope so.


3 Responses to A Curious Start

  1. Carmelo says:

    Heres hoping so. Happy new year.

  2. alex says:

    Us inept readers need to stick together. Sod those people that take in whole paragraphs at a time! 🙂

    Happy new year.

  3. kimthevet says:

    I just finished “An Experiment in Love” by Hilary Mantel. I think your synopsis of not-great-but-really-rather-absorbing was just right for that too. At the risk of this turning into a book club, (sorry all you trauma and action fans), if you like vivid imagery have you read any of Paulo Coelho’s stuff?

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