Being in Spain – in my internet free zone at home – means lots of time to read.
So, I had a nice Peter Carey book. It was called ‘Theft: a love story’ (2006) and described variously as a tale about art (and art dealers), scams, relationships – and apparently a story that would make the reader laugh.
Well, although I enjoyed it, as I enjoy all Carey novels, I didn’t find it at all funny. Sad and immoral but not funny. Perhaps I’ve lost my sense of humour.
But having read that, it reminded me of another book I had bought some time ago, one about art history.
I searched through all four bookcases – but could I find it? No. So after repeatedly looking in them all over again, I finally found it hiding at the back of a cupboard – which also has books in it – four bookcases naturally not providing enough space so other furniture has been appropriated for books.
Michael Frayn’s Headlong (1999), and short listed for the Booker Prize in that year. I remembered the general plot, but not the detail, so happily sat down to plough through it again.
Plough through it was the word. I enjoyed it the first time around, but was I ever fed up this time with reading about Breughel and iconography and iconology. Or was it iconoclasts? How to ruin a decent plot with really too much academic/intellectual content. Or maybe once bearable maybe enjoyable, yes, but – never again.
Anyway, having finished with art – history and dealers and crazy relationships – onto a totally different book. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, (2008) and a Booker prizewinner. Yeah, ok, I do end up reading Booker nominated or winning novels.
It was a good read. Very black humour and totally amoral and utterly enjoyable. Try it. Probably the best of the three.