Thursday, June 10, 2010

Sans salt I tell you

Today I read ‘House of splendid Isolation’ by Edna O’Brien. I’d never heard of it, but then I don’t hear about much and I don’t have a list of the ‘important’ books I want to get through before I die or anything. It’s been around the house for a couple of weeks, but I’ve been eyeing it suspiciously for fear it might be dreadful; which wasn’t really fair.

I don’t really know anything about Edna O’Brien except that she wrote ‘The Country Girls’. As a kid I saw an adaptation of it on telly that really stuck with me, (mind you, that was ages ago, and anyway it was telly) apart from that,- all I know about the woman is that she’s Irish and she’s a woman and that’s what put me off.
Now let me just explain.

There was a series of books given away free with a newspaper a couple of years ago; and the series was called ‘Irish Women Writers’ or something. I saw one of the series in Oxfam for 50p and figured I’d give it a shot. The book was called; ‘Falling for a Dancer’ by Deirdre Purcell. I , personally, found it twee, trite and instantly forgettable and would have actually dumped the damn thing, were it not for a hard and fast rule in the back of my head that ‘you CANT put a book in the bin’.

So it’s still in the house, but in a ‘Memento’ stylee, just in case I ever suffer from Alzheimer’s or amnesia or something; I wrote ‘SHITE BOOK’ on the cover with permanent marker as a warning to myself and burglars with taste. It must have had an effect. Whatever ballet of firing synapses that was triggered in my mind, by writing ‘SHITE BOOK’ where ‘Irish Women Writers’ had been, I think may have left me with the subconscious impression that one=t’other.
I wouldn’t of course consciously hold a prejudice like that, but upon reflection, I do think that it was there, because it took me ages to get round to reading Edna and I wasn’t looking forward to it.

For shame Darren, for shame. You could have gotten run over by a bus last week and you’d have totally missed out, y’big eejit!

I can only say that I enjoyed this book like I imagine one enjoys good fresh food prepared specially for one by an absolute Masterchef at the peak of their powers on the same night that one is so wretchedly hungry that one could eat a scabby child without salt. If one knows what one means.

I cant believe I haven’t heard of it before

When I finished it, as is my habit, I read the blurb on the back to see if my feelings were reflected in any of the comments; this is what the Literary Review had to say:

‘This is a book which is so well written
that you won’t be disappointed whatever you are looking for’

Well done Literary Review! I concur.

‘Hey wait a minute! What are you doing reading masterfully crafted works of fiction?’ I hear you cry. ‘Shouldn’t you be doing rehearsals? For Gods’ sake,- the play’s on in less than a week!’
Well er... um...yes and I all I can say is that the writer turned up, as did the director and even the web-page-manager (and his cat) but the entire cast was unavoidably detained.
What are the chances eh?

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