Greville St Bookstore


The “ones that didn’t get 3&1/2 but probably should have” list!
January 4, 2010, 6:22 am
Filed under: Literature

Ok, so in answer to your question, the “not quite 3&1/2” books are all really really great and terribly well written and realised, but had perhaps something just “not quite” about them, for example:

parts of Dog Boy are really really gross;

Homer and Langley is not nearly as great as Doctorow’s Ragtime or The March;

Byatt’s didactic presentation of her research for The Children’s Book can get really really irritating;

even I, who am a HUGE fan, got a little tired of Occupied City‘s stylistic repetitions;

Geoff, Jeff and Death, I thought was really really funny and I loved the first part in Venice, but the second part in Varanasi I wasn’t so convinced by at the time, though now, it seems to me, that it too was very very good;

Sunnyside was a great sprawling larrikin of a book but lacked the cohesion of a central character to impel the narrative;

and the poor old Anthologist I read after the baroque genius of Shirley Hazzard, so it took me a while to appreciate the joys of contemporary American minimalism again, though I was completely inspired by Mr Baker to pursue my poetic ambitions…

So there you have it! for what it’s worth…

Dog Boy
by Eva Hornung
pb $32.95

Homer and Langley
by E.L. Doctorow
pb $29.99

The Children’s Book
by A.S. Byatt
pb $24.95

Occupied City: The Tokyo Trilogy Part Two
by David Peace
pb $32.99

Jeff In Venice, Death In Varanasi
by Geoff Dyer
pb $32.95

Sunnyside
by Glen David Gold
pb $32.99

The Anthologist
by Nicholson Baker
pb $32.99

PS The real real list is yet to come; the list of books that equal or outscore my best of best list, and the only reason they’re not on it is… TBC… Rata x

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