SERIOUSLY, in the wake of the law criminalising squatters in residential buildings, you should read this quick, sad book from the late 80s "about" (asSERIOUSLY, in the wake of the law criminalising squatters in residential buildings, you should read this quick, sad book from the late 80s "about" (as far as it's about anything) squatting in brixton under a tory government. it's quick and strange and mixes "real" events and events that the characters make up, and sometimes things happen that the characters then say didn't happen. there are hallucinations and wishes that become real for a little bit. and there are terrible jobs and there's the dole and strikes and squats. and there's a hreatbreaking story about a werewolf in here too and really it's a great meditation on storytelling & life & love. go for it....more
This book is, as everybody else will have said, great fun. The basic story idea is a brilliant one, but Fforde is very funny generally and so there arThis book is, as everybody else will have said, great fun. The basic story idea is a brilliant one, but Fforde is very funny generally and so there are lots of small jokes littered throughout, as well as the larger ones - many sentences are filled with silly literary puns, and the like.
My only real problem with it is the pace. It feels too fast, it feels breathless, like you never get a chance to grasp one thing before moving onto another. I don't think this is necessarily a flaw of the writing, and the story probably appears at its best and most ridiculously complicated this way – but it means the characters don't get developed that much, and neither does the world they live in, beyond the hotel and bar in Swindon and the world of Jane Eyre, which has the advantage of already being fairly comprehensively described in Jane Eyre.
Still, there's a chain of sequels – onwards to Lost in a Good Book I go! I want to know more about SpecialOps and her husband, and I guess from the blurb that's probably what I'm about to get....more
This was quite a quick read as it's a small non-fiction book aimed at children, I think, so it's possibly cheating at add it to my 'read' list here. eThis was quite a quick read as it's a small non-fiction book aimed at children, I think, so it's possibly cheating at add it to my 'read' list here. except my 'read' list isn't just a numbers game, & it's worth discussing & reviewing, I think.
It's a book in a box that's made up to look like one of Joseph Cornell's boxes, essentially. The book has a short biography of Cornell – suitable for children, and not particularly deep – then encourages readers to attempt their own collages and boxes, giving ideas for themes and methods of composition, as well as suggesting the kinds of objects that could be used. It serves as a great introduction to Cornell – and unlike some stuff I've read about him before, it doesn't patronise him. It shows him as competent, deep & very engaged in the arts that surrounded him - it doesn't fetishise some idea of "outsider art", doesn't go on and on about how he rarely left New York. This is encouraging, & good for those who read this & use it to form their ideas about art both as an appreciator & as somebody who might want to actually do it. The projects it lists for readers to try out are, unavoidably, derivative, but that doesn't really matter – & a lot of the book is about imagination/evocation, about methods of thought more than methods of imitation.
I really, really liked it. It's deeper & more well considered than a lot of the twee books for children/adults that fill this same general field - like 'Destroy this book' or what have you. It serves as a good introduction to a great artist with a lot of beautiful photographs & astute writing about his art & method, & it tells us to go away and collect things ourselves. Beautiful....more