Books, life the universe

Friday, 28 May 2010

How time flies . . .

I really don't know where this week has gone to and now it's the weekend already! I've just had the front garden done with blue slate chippings - as I got really fed up with the lawn which never really looked right in any case and didn't grow very well in patches where it got too dry and where it got no sun. We've still got the hedge and the Rowan tree so it's not completely barren. Next door one side had their pocket handkerchief done as well. At the moment it looks very bright but it will look all right once it's been rained on.

I'm currently still indulging in an orgy of Jane Austen; reading Mansfield Park and listening to Sense and Sensibility. I'm also reading The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas which is about a man at a friend's BBQ who slaps a child - not his own. The book is about the repercussions from that one single act has amongst the friends who were at the BBQ when the parents of the child go to the police.

What a good idea for a novel you might think as it provides lot of opportunities for showing characters in their ordinary lives and the effect of one ill thought out action on them and their relationships. But it is set in Melbourne and the culture there must be completely different from the UK. There is much use of heavy duty swear words, casual racism and a fascination with violent imagery. At least two of the main characters - male - are having affairs.

It is clear the men are the boss at home. They walk into a room and change the music their wives are listening to and insist on their choices. Wives get bawled out if they talk about their lives to anyone and the husbands are always thinking about smashing their faces in even if they regard themselves as happily married. Not pleasant. The writing is good and it would be even more powerful if the bad language, violence, misogyny and racism weren't there. It is perfectly possible to indicate that a character swears without using the words.

For light entertainment I'm also reading Victoria Clayton's Dance with Me.

I have received today - from Amazon - my copy of Leigh Russell's Road Closed - the month before official publication so I will probably be able to post my interview with Leigh AND a review of the book at the same time. I'm looking forward to reading it.


Leigh Russell said...

An orgy of Jane Austen sounds good. I wish I had more time to read!

Jilly said...

Jane Austen makes me realise how much people DON'T change over time!
I think reading is my most favourite activity and I couldn't manage without it.