Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Winging it


On Saturday I shall be embarking upon a longish plane journey, and just in case a combination of Kate Hudson movies, articles about luxury watches and scented towelettes doesn’t sustain me, I’m thinking of taking a couple of books. But what to pluck from the pile? Any suggestions gratefully received.

Geoff Dyer, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi
“A wildly original novel of erotic fulfillment and spiritual yearning.”

Russell Hoban, Riddley Walker
“...an extraordinary feat of imagination and of style funny, terrible, haunting and unsettling, this book is a masterpiece.”

Will Self, The Book of Dave
“Will Self is such an overpowering presence in his own books that it’s sometimes difficult to tell what he's actually written.”

Kazuo Ishiguro, A Pale View of Hills
“If you need all mysteries to be solved and all plotlines to be resolved, this book will frustrate you to no end.”

Fareed Zakaria, The Post-American World
“This is a book not about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else.”

Charlotte Roche, Wetlands
“It's a famous woman talking about vaginas – of course it’s going to sell.”

PS: Scott Pack offers his criteria for chucking books out. Is there some variant of this I might be able to use?

10 comments:

Morton Shadow said...

To paraphrase a colleague from the North Bank (as was) who was referring to the author's (I presume) footballing brother Kieran:

"Geoff Dyer? He couldn't be more aptly named if his name was Geoff Farking-Useless..."

I'd go with 'Wetlands' Timster - not only did it manage to repulse my penpal Lucy Ellmann, but you'll also be contributing to the survival of "an astonishing natural sanctuary for all manner of bird and wild life within touching distance of the busy urban heart of the metropolis"

Get some today...

xxx
Mort:

a-s-w: blumusaw - Joycean dino???

Boz said...

It got bad press, but I enjoyed the well-played laughs found in A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon.

And I've just whipped through The Night Watch by Sarah Waters so fast that I'm on the point of beocming a wartime lesbian.

Also reading a page-turning history of the tube, if like me that geek stuff floats your boat: The Subterranean Railway by Christian Wolmar.

All of these are fairly easy, straightforward airplane reads. If I were picking form your list, I would probably go for Ishiguro. I have little interest in vaginas.

Morton Shadow said...

Mrs. Shadow (no relation) laughed her arse off at the Haddon.

I'm sure she'll get 'round to reading it one day...

(ting boom)

xxx
Mort

p.s. I suppose as no one else is going to ask - where are you orf to Timothy?

Phil BC said...

I haven't read Wetlands but I mean to, so take that. Also the Ishiguro might be good - I've read a couple of his and they were both excellent.

I don't recommend The Book of Dave though. It's unnecessarily brutal and actually very boring. Avoid, unless you can't get enough Will Self.

CathElliott said...

I think you should read Wetlands and then give us a review of it afterwards.

Top tip though from someone who's read it (me): if you're going to read it on the plane, make sure you've got the sick bag to hand.

Billy said...

Wetlands is a bit fluid-y.

dh said...

Callisto by Torsten Krol. The amusing, I thought, tale of a Forrest Gump Type caught up in the War On Terror.

Tim Footman said...

Looks like Wetlands and Ishiguro (which are also the shortest). Sick bag at the ready.

I enjoyed Spot of Bother, but not as much as Curious Incident; might get more into Waters, as Fingersmith was a romp. Callisto looks intriguing - a bit Catch 22? Thank you, one and all.

Oh, and the journey is to London down. I'm expecting a delegation of pearly kings and queens to meet me at the airport.

Rog said...

Love the pic in this post. It somehow reminds me of Lily Allen's chest.

Morton Shadow said...

"I'm expecting a delegation of pearly kings and queens to meet me at the airport."

Not sure if you've kept abreast with world affairs whilst in transit, but I'd give the eastend a miss if I were you Timster. The Millwall firm were to Upton Park what Aaron Ramsey was to the Pompeii back four on Saturday I'm afraid...

The Geoffster's believed to have come away unscathed though, you'll be pleased to know...

Bon voyage

xxx
Mort