Time flies when you’re having fun – and so do pages. I feel I’m in the richest vein of my life at the moment when it comes to reading, and my shelves are bulging with new acquisitions.
I’ve already spoken about how Dennis Lehane has burrowed his way into my all-time favourites list, but I was unprepared for how great A Drink Before The War was going to be. Kenzie and Gennaro, the detectives driving the story, are wonderful creations – both jaded and cynical yet still so alive to the good they look for. They are not perfect (who is?) and that’s just how I like my heroes – layered in all sorts of greys. The plot was superb, the twists unpredictable and genuinely flooring, and the social commentary was as on-point and surgical as anything I’ve read in the genre before. I’m totally in my element here – and there are five more! Oh happy days…
While I’m on form, I’m going to try to broaden my horizons with some classics too – namely all those books I feel I should have read by now. So I’ve started with one that a lot of kids in the UK read in school, but I somehow didn’t – Lord Of The Flies. The William Golding book we tackled was The Spire, which was wonderful in itself, so I was eager to see how Golding’s other works matched up. I’m about half way through, and it’s so clear to see why the book is still passed from generation to generation. It’s a timeless tale so well told, and a precursor to so many stories since – and I mean so many. There are echoes of Lord Of The Flies everywhere you look on TV and popular culture. The prose itself is so elegantly precise, with a fantastic whimsical poignancy. It’s a voice so composed, and lends a gravity to the book you seldom get to read. Even though I know what’s coming, I can’t wait to read Golding deliver it.
Lined up at the same time is Jason Arnopp’s The Last Days Of Jack Sparks, which has been on my to read list for a while, but for seeing it by chance at a library I was passing, I bumped it up. That is one eye-catching front cover, and I believe the words are equally captivating too.