Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Sunshine, books, Fish


Five days unbroken sunshine, in Ibiza since last Thursday. Plenty of paellas, beers in the sun, and a chance to read.
Read The Reader by Bernard Schink - do read this one, it's simply fantastic. Superb writing, and it raises such questions. One of those you can't finish then start another book immediately after.
Also read The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, because it had won The Costa Prize. Remind me to contact the writer and tell him how an adoptee actually IS. (Nothing at all like his character). And remind me to ask him politely not to use adoption as a plot device. It is tired, cliched, transparent.
The book is flawed. The whole rests on the reader's ability to believe that an arthrictic old lady who can no longer play the piano thanks to her painful fingers, can find the wherewithal to write reams and reams of beautiful prose as a 'secret memoir before she dies.'
It also rests on one's ability to believe that this old lady (incarcerated for the greater part of her life in a mental institution) has exactly the same vocabulary/voice as her consultant psychiatrist.

I also came second in Fish. Which is a joy and a lovely thing. I get a week in my favourite place on this planet and e300, which will cover getting there.
Stereo fish, as a celebration.

8 comments:

SueG said...

news on the Fish prize. That's wonderful...plus you get to go back and see Sue. I'm so happy for you! xoxoxox PS How was the cruise?

TOM J VOWLER said...

Sounds like said award-winning novel has some verisimilitude problems.

Very well done on your prize. As someone who judges a competition with a mere 500 entries, I know how ridiculously strong the winners have to be. Yours was better than 1,498 others; how good does that feel?

Liz said...

Congrats on Fish, Vanessa...and the Ibiza holiday sounds divine. : )

Anne Brooke said...

Well done on the Fish! As it were ... And I gather you didn't like the Costa novel (I'm bright that way, you know!) ...

:))

Axxx

Sarah Hilary said...

Congratulations on Fish, V!

I have the same problem with child abuse as a plot device (Kate Atkinson used it in one of her books and I threw it across the room in disgust). There ought to be a list of Things You Can't Use to Avoid Writing Something Original. Or something.

Douglas Bruton said...

Congrats, congrats, congrats... well deserved hit. Brilliant.

D

Lit Flood said...

Congratulations V! x

Vanessa Gebbie said...

belated thank yous to everyone who was kind enough to post here...