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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What's so remarkable?

Warning - the following review contains spoilers.

If you can "spoil" a plotless book.

Good observational skills and poetic use of language. BUT. Call me old fashioned, if you will, I prefer my books to have some sort of story to them. The blurb for Remarkable Things tries its best - "a terrible event... no one who witnesses it will ever be the same again". Really? Woman gets pregnant, kid gets run over. The end.

The style was initially refreshing (and interesting to bear in mind that the majority of book deals are made on the basis of the first 3 chapters) but by about p.50 I was finding it grating. A little further in, and becoming desperate for something to happen I started making things up - a dreadful illness, a bomb, fire breathing dragons... But alas, no.

I liked the old couple and would have liked to have seen more of them - fifty years of togetherness about to come to an end. There was a real poignancy about them and I thought this could have been explored more deeply.

So, altogether I found it disappointing, and often irritating. A little characterisation wouldn't have gone amiss, and whilst I get the point - we don't know our neighbours very well - I don't think it makes for a good book.