Books Read – Feb 13

Mini-reviews here. I was trying to keep up with 10 a month, but slipped this month (I blame it on the missing 3 days). I also seem to be just starting lots and lots of books at the moment: just this week-end, Schulberg, Ford Madox Ford, Figes’ Crimea (oh yes, it seemed appropriate – but I bought it for research purposes unrelated to current news events. – Yes, it’s true the Crimea has a majority ethnic-Russian population, but that’s only because they ethnically cleansed the whole area in the c18th-c19th. Used to be full of Muslim Tatars.)

Films seen here. Not many. Seem to have lost interest; flipped back to literature.

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5 thoughts on “Books Read – Feb 13

  1. I found The Heron a bit of a wash-out as well.

    That is a neat reductio of Moby Dick all right. On balance, was it worth the effort? Was it an effort, in fact? I think the difficulty of “getting through” the book tends to be overstated.

  2. The Heron was a bit, dare I say it – a bit, Ian McEwan.

    I found Moby Dick a bit of an effort – not difficult, just tedious – with the odd good patch. Perhaps though it was the circumstances in which I read it (I am a great believer in the influence of circumstance); I would certainly, I think, have taken a lot longer over it, if it hadn’t been the only thing I’d taken on holiday with me (well, kind of); but then, perhaps if I’d read it more slowly I’d have enjoyed it more (Tristram Shandy certainly benefited from a long break in the middle). – Maybe, after all, I’d have been better to take my reserve book on holiday, which was Willem Meister. Now I’ll probably save it till next year.

  3. I know what you mean – I took a break in the middle of the Savage Detectives about 3 years ago – I’m still on it and the book has improved immeasurably in my estimation since.

  4. PS – McEwan? Harsh. I liked Garden of the Finzi-Continis but reading The Heron made me wonder if I was right to do so.

  5. My experience too: I have read quite a few books by Bassani now, but none has matched the Finzi-Continis (although I read it first and a long time ago).

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