When the lovely and welcoming @jobeaz kindly let me become part of her book club I was full of good intentions. Here was my chance to get back into reading fiction. For the last few years it’s been lots and lots of memoirs, autobiographies, biographies and non-fiction. (I actually believe that finishing my PhD some years ago left me incapable of reading anything “literary” (read highbrow) because it’s a known fact that too much poststructuralism rewires your brain to the point when it says “Enough!”….”quit making me decipher, analyse, critique and decode every single blinking sentence and pick up a TV Week”. For a while I actually stopped reading for pleasure altogether. Fact.)
So I had a good month to read The Book Thief. Hey, I was so prepared. I had optimistically bought a copy of it a few years ago and it was In My House. Right there. On the bookshelves. Waiting for me. So of course I read two other books in April (Rupert Everett’s memoir and Russell Brand’s Booky Wook) and yesterday decided to start The Book Thief.
Problem number one emerged quite quickly. I am no longer able to read hard copy books. Thanks for nothing Kindle. So in spite of actually owning a copy, I bought a kindle edition as well.
Problem number two. As I started it slowly dawned on my that I had started the book before. The fact that I didn’t remember this until I started reading it did not fill me with confidence. I knew I hadn’t finished it. What were the chances of completing it this time.
Problem number three. People tweeted about how much they loved the book. Now, I don’t know about you but as soon I hear someone tell me how great a book/film/ TV show is I’m immediately both a little bit skeptical and I get really high expectations. This book must be going to blow my tiny mind into a million pieces with its all round excellence!
I persevered to about 35%. I don’t know what page I’m up to. I did force myself to keep going last night for an hour longer than I wanted to. Perhaps I would get into it. Perhaps I would work out who the narrator is (spoiler alert: it’s Death. Or that’s what Wikipedia just told me because I googled the book to find out how it ends…not well…it’s about WW2 after all). Perhaps life is too short to read books that don’t engage me and have confusing literary constructs and ramble on about colours in a prologue that was really pretentious in my humble and uninformed opinion.
I hope other people really liked it. Perhaps they wouldn’t like Rupert Everett’s scintillating prose, or Russell Brand’s delightfully racy and highly amusing account of his addictions and his career. I enjoyed them both immensely but I fear I have failed the first book club challenge. Each to their own.
I must see what next month is. I will try to do better.