And it would have been nice if the story had ended like that but unfortunately life has a way of intervening and instead I found myself dismantling an IKEA desk at record speed while swearing profusely (it speeds up the process) and loitering around in the street waiting for a delivery man to arrive...
And then I got back to my sofa... and finished the book.
So the first book I finished this week was The Child in Time by Ian McEwan. As you read it’s as if he is pulling a noose of words around you tighter and tighter until all your senses are stretched to snapping point, hyper aware of everything the characters are going through. McEwan drops hints of reprieve, then pulls out the ground from beneath you, leaving you falling and gasping.
On returning to awareness all is calm again although there is a sense of pent up frenzy building up, of mistrust. Can McEwan possibly lead you to a satisfying joyful conclusion?
The last pages of description are so lyrically graphic that you can almost feel, hear and smell the scene beneath your fingers and then it is followed by the final full stop.
It’s over; you have experienced the protagonist’s breakdown and slow renewal.
As I was surfing blogs recently I remember catching sight of Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. The blogger had described it as the best YA fiction they had read recently and I remembered that when I went to get some books from the library recently that Claire had pressed this book into my hands. After half tidying my desk I found it below Fear and Trembling by Amelie Nothomb (I’m half wondering whether to read it in French so haven’t started it yet). Anyway, the metro journey wasn’t long enough for Mortal Engines; I was still reading it as I trundled up the stairs at my stop. It’s a thrilling story set on the future Earth warning us of our self-destructive tendencies. There’s adventure, some cool characters and a nice look at developing young lurve. While I loved the story line, I wasn’t too sure about the device of using present tense for certain characters. And also in the thrill of the story’s breakneck forward thrust, I kind of got the impression that some of the characters were inconsistent or that parts of the plot hadn’t been followed through sufficiently. Still it was a ‘thinking’ book, which gives it a thumbs up in my book. Mmm... I see there are a whole series of books. Oh I’ll have to check those out.