What news?

23 11 2010

When will there be good news? By Kate Atkinson

In a quiet corner of rural Devon, a six-year-old girl witnesses an appalling crime. Thirty years later the man convicted of the crime is released from prison. In Edinburgh, sixteen-year-old Reggie, wise beyond her years, works as a nanny for a G.P. But her employer has disappeared with her baby, and Reggie seems to be the only person who is worried. Across town, Detective Chief Inspector Louise Monroe is also looking for a missing person, unaware that hurtling towards her is a former acquaintance – Jackson Brodie – himself on a journey that is about to be fatally interrupted.

As reviewers have noted there are rather a lot of coincidences in here which are key to the plot. Significant suspension of disbelief required therefore but it is still nevertheless an entertaining and diverting read.

Fundamental issues

16 11 2010

The reluctant fundamentalist by Mohsin Ahmed

Really impressive story this. The stylistic device of the monologue delivered to the silent listener feels a bit forced sometimes but overall a poignant and touching tale.

I noted elsewhere the use made of the book by St Andrews University which gave a copy to all Freshers in 2009. A good choice.

Entering Jerusalem

9 11 2010

Entry into Jerusalem by Stanley Middleton

I’d been looking for a Stanley Middleton novel for ages without success but then happened across this one. Have to say I really enjoyed it and am now looking for more. His obituary is a reminder of his earlier success, including a Booker Prize win for ‘Holiday’, but also of his slide out of fashion:

In 2006, the Times sent the first chapter of Holiday to publishers and literary agents to test their reactions. All but one of the 21 replies were rejections. Middleton, contacted about the story, was unsurprised. “People don’t seem to know what a good novel is nowadays,” he told the Times.

Entry into Jerusalem is extremely well written but, without being able to define quite why, it does feel somewhat dated. Looking forward to catching up on the other 43 I’ve missed.

Straight down the middle: approximation of a playlist §52

2 11 2010

Songs or artists related to golfing matters

Breakout – Swing Out Sister
Tiger Feet – Mud
Eagle – Abba
Such Great Heights – Iron and Wine
White Flag – Dido
Knock on wood – David Bowie

Over and Over – Hot Chip
Put Your Records On – Corinne Bailey Rae
Green Green Grass Of Home – Tom Jones
Sandy – John Travolta
Intuition – Linx
Hole In My Shoe – Traffic
Rough Justice – The Rolling Stones
Pinball Wizard – The Who
Rat Trap – The Boomtown Rats
Last nite – The Strokes
Time (Clock Of The Heart) – Culture Club
Hey There Delilah – Plain White T’s
Hazard – Richard Marx
Baby Driver – Simon and Garfunkel
Rubber Ball – Bobby Vee
Albatross – Fleetwood Mac
Open Your Heart – Human League
Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits
Sweet Like Chocolate – Shanks and Bigfoot

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