So,I’ve just moved into a new flat, back in my beloved Balham after a month staying with a friend on an airbed that went down every night, but only enough for it to become less comfortable than lying on the floor.
As most of my stuff was boxed up I took a number of books with me to keep me going. I was already reading In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin, and I selected Seeing by Jose Saramago, Hard Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World by Murakami and The Unconsolved by Kazuo Ishiguro.
I tackled Murakami first, and to be honest I get the feeling that most of his books fly majestically, like a bird, straight over my head, I always enjoy them and this was no exception, but the end was not what I was expecting, although perhaps it was what I should have been expecting.
Jose Saramago up next, I love Saramago, once you stop hunting for the full stops, his books are a joy to read and even though you will invariably read the same conversation 8 times to try and work out who is saying what, it draws you in and envelopes you completely. Although I got Seeing first, I waited to get Blindness, as I read somewhere that Seeing was the follow up (and it is indeed, while not essential, Seeing will read better and will have much more impact if you have read Blindness first). Described as being about what a government does in the face of almost complete voter apathy (welcome to my world, especially at the moment) I found it disturbing, and sadly, completely believable, including the end, which in all honestly made me put down my tea and sit there in mild shock for a good long while, certain enough to make my tea go cold.
As of just before my dinner tonight, I’ve also finished The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. 535 pages of randomness, long car journeys that end up in one place, that happens to be connected by a door to the place you have just left, wandering off on a photo shoot while your son eats cheesecake in a cafe, swinging wildly between fury and tenderness for his mother and being drawn almost bizarrely in peoples lives as you come across them. A “Study of a man whose life has accelerated beyond his control” The Unconsoled is the most confusing book I have ever read, but as the end left me, indeed, Unconsoled, perhaps it’s brilliance is to brilliant for me to see..
So now I’ve started Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar (again so I can then read the follow up). I know what happens at the end of that one, he’s already told me in the preface, a little less confusion, a little more Theroux..