Together in Spirit

An online reading group ('TIS a reading group!) to bring together friends, and friends of friends, who aren't able to be in a conventional reading group due to constraints of time or geography.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

How I Live When?

I totally agree with Val and Kirsty. A good page turner and thereby a very quick read, but ultimately only a pleasant short story. I thought it was a cross between The Famous Five and Z for Zachariah (another teen novel set in post nuclear Armageddon). I could not work out when Rosoff was supposedly setting the story, with references to mobile phones and e-mails one minute and Blyton-esque children and dim farming yokels the next! If it was the twenty-first century or beyond then did Social Services have Aunt Penn on their registers? Surely cigarette smoking, jeep riding Edmond should have been wearing a hoody?!

I did think the teen voice started well but got rather lost once they started tramping the countryside. I also thought Daisy was able to explain and get over her anorexia rather too easily and quickly and felt that Rosoff was rather buying into the ‘all we need is a good war for the youngsters of today to realise how lucky they are’ mindset. I didn’t think the romance was particularly convincing and found Ian Mcewan’s Atonement and ultimately Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair far more satisfying as novels about love thwarted by war.

Just a note about my comfort reading. Not sure I do any. I am afraid that, unlike Emily, I only have the intellectual and emotional capacity to read one book at a time. I tend to get very involved in a book, particularly if it is a long one and therefore need some time-out afterwards before reading the next thing. I tend to find dipping into some short stories nice during this period, like a snack between main meals. I have found Chekhov’s and Wilde’ short stories fit the bill nicely. Otherwise I may dip into some non-fiction, which at the moment is dominated by books on parenting! When you come out of the library with one novel and four books on parenting you know you are in trouble (and when one is entitled What’s that rash? You know you’ve reached an all-time low!)