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.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

How toads live now

I've now read How I live Now and Counselling for Toads. I enjoyed both especially the latter. I used Transactional Analysis with my counsellor so it was lovely to see it again. Apart from finding some of Toad's questions to elicit info about the model a bit contrived, I thought it was absolutely fabulous. An excellent choice.

I'm feeling a bit more ambivalent about How I live now. I found it really gripping but disliked the absence of conventional punctuation and syntax (when the first set of inverted commas turned up in the closing chapters I was so pleased). In that respect it reminded me of The Shipping News so it was funny to see that mentioned in a recent post. Like other readers I found it lacked emotional depth at times and the characters weren't very well developed. I wasn't sure if this was accidental or due to the fact the teenage anorexics are notorious for having a limited emotional vocabulary.

On the subject of choosing, I liked that The Shipping News emphasised that both Wavey and the male lead (whose name escapes me) both had difficult histories and both had reservations and both chose to go for it. If you want to talk about choices, how about Tess of the D'Urbervilles?