Wednesday, January 02, 2008


The Coles secretly slipped away to Yorkshire for New Year and have now returned to the shire what we live in. I thank the Ws for their hospitality. The new pool table that has appeared in the dining space since our last visit made me tingle and sigh. I covet it.

Whilst in the North Riding I purchased and consumed On Chesil Beach, the recent novella penned by the earnest Ian McEwan. I must admit it reminded me of the author’s early short stories with its candid subject matter interlaced with intricate details. The mention of, say, a glacĂ© cherry or a patched trouser intelligently evokes the period – early 1960s – when wartime austerity and sobriety was finally giving way to a bit more style, swagger and choice. An ultimately tragic relationship dominates the pages but ‘tis the backdrop featuring class division, contemporary political thought and the heralding of a new era, equally exhilarating and frightening, that commands most attention. On Chesil Beach proved, in places, a less than comfortable read but the suggestion of a fascinating period of societal change was incredible and, I consider, McEwan’s finest achievement.

I’ve another book on the go now. Then We Came To The End by Joshua Ferris is a wry glance at office life, its mundanities and minor dramas, in novel format. I’m finding this book tremendously entertaining. The author, a young man, has carved out a bewitching yet believable cast of characters and has weaved a host of delicious vignettes about them. There is a delicious website that goes with this novel, packed with details that make this punter beam. Some of the book’s characters appear to have their own MySpace pages. The map of the office is exquisite. The video is worth watching; it contains some fairly typical office shots with some quotations from the novel recited, deadpan, over the top. I’m enthusing about the whole enterprise. I used to work in an office.

I am going to try and get fit this year.

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