Books, life the universe

Friday, 30 October 2009

Another Bibliomemoir

Having read Susan Hill's Howard's End is on the Landing it seemed only fair to read Rick Gekoski's Outside of a Dog. The author is an American who has spent much of his adult life in England. He studied for his Doctorate at Oxford and went on to lecture at Warwick in English literature. The book is about the books he read and how they affected him. It is also about his marriage to Barbara - which ended after 30 years - and his two children Anna and Bertie. He worries he introduced Anna to the wrong books when as an adult she writes a book about serial killers.

He is unblushingly honest about his faults and failings. He tries writing a novel and fails dismally and admits he never has anything original to say. He leaves his secure job at Warwick to build up his rare book business and sets out to read himself back to normality by reading thrillers. University life has turned him into someone he does not like or recognise.

As a rare book dealer he meets many famous people - Kim Philby's widow in Moscow and Graham Green in Antibes and makes a better living than he did as a university lecturer. He writes a book about football which he thoroughly enjoys doing and is thrilled when it is published, though he spends years failing to write a book about D H Lawrence.

I enjoyed the book and loved the author's style of writing and I was left wondering why I have never come across him before. I recommend it to anyone who loves books and reading.

No comments: