What I read in September and October 2009

White Tiger by Aravind Adiga. Gripping and disturbing. I hope his depiction of India is a deliberately shocking one…I would like an Indian person’s opinion on how much of an exaggeration it represents. Mind you, if 10% is true to life, it’s pretty dire anyway…

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I would have been a lot more entertained by this classic children’s book, for which I had high hopes, if sailing or boats held any real interest for me… Recently, there was quite a lot in the news of Ransome’s life as a spy. I enjoyed reading about that rather more than reading this book. Malcolm Saville was seen as following on from Arthur Ransome but he is to my mind a much more exciting children’s book writer. Mind you, I’ve read dozens of Malcolm Saville’s books and only one of Arthur Ransome’s…

Les champs d’honneur by Jean Rouaud. Not sure about this one. Some of the descriptions were a bit wordy, but I didn’t mind that too much, or the rather disjointed construction, even though I kept losing track of who Joseph was. It’s just that I couldn’t be bothered to go back and check how he related to everyone.

Mr Pip by Lloyd JonesMmm. OK but not a gripping read. The rhythm picked up at the end when the violence, which was clearly latent throughout the story, started. Although the book had its moments for me, overall, my impression was that it was a bit flat and colourless.

Oedipe roi by Sophocle
Ah, the force of destiny.