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Saturday, 2 September 2006

Bob's Book Club...

This isn't quite as much fun as it sounds, unfortunately. Basically, having as I do more money than sense, I've got into the habit of buying a lot of second hand books very cheaply from the British Heart Foundation Shop in Twickenham (they often seem to have a smattering of the grittier recent fiction - I've bought Amis, Pelecanos, Leonard and Hornby there (all in h/back , mind) in amongst the ubiquitous and barely thumbed copies of White Teeth and Bridget Jones Dairy (see The Spinster on this - excellent post...). All well and good you'd say, and yes, they do look lovely in the cabinets in the new home, thank you very much. But unfortunately, being A Very Busy Man and (sod it, I might as well own up to to it) A Bit Of a Dimwitted Thug, deep down, the chances of me ever reading any of these lovely books is pretty slender, bordering on the wafer thin.

Which is where you lot come in. As I have - and I'll not try to spare your blushes here - a charming, erudite and enormously well-read readership, I thought I'd go for the "standing on the shoulders of giants" approach and ask *you lot* to give a potted account of the books each week, or recommend salient chapters/sections within the text that could function as a part for whole/metonomymic kind of deal - or just advise me to steer well clear (in fact, the latter could save everyone a whole heap of trouble now I come to think of it... Bob's Don't Read This Book Club, anyone??)

So, whaddaya say? I thought it might be quite fun and I'm sure that the next time I'm in the company of People Who Read a Lot (some time around 2046, I would imagine...) I'm sure they will be so impressed by my Swipesters-cribbed loquacity and intensity of mental rigour, that they won't even begin to dream of what a clueless retard they're clinking their glass of el-cheapo, cash and carry chardy with.

So, first up, as I've blogged on him of late, I thought I'd finally splash out on The One Martin Amis Novel That I Haven't Already Read:

So, let's be having you with your "Oi'll give it foive"s....

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  1. 'Yellow Dog': is a sort of gangster cum writer who gets bashed on the head and developes an unhealthy interest in his young daughter. There is sex, violence, mental rambling and a corpse on a plane. Some great dialogue between airline pilots and porn stars. To me it looks like 3 or 4 ideas for novels jammed together. Too clever by half as Tim Footman wouldn't say.

  2. It's the only one I haven't read. Can I borrow it? I bought it for my Dad's birthday when it first came out and he loved it.

  3. Clearly too clever for me, as I only got about 20 pages in. This is the one with characters called He and Him, isn't it?

  4. After Xan Meo is brutally attacked in the garden of a London pub and suffers a severe head trauma, his wife and daughters find they are living with a stranger — unpredictable, violent, vengeful, lost: "His condition felt like the twenty-first century: it was something you wanted to wake up from."

    While it may alarm his family, Xan's new personality is a good match for the city and the age in which he lives. For this is the vicious London of tabloid journalist Clint Smoker, whose daily reports of illicit sex and outrageous scandal are every bit as fake (and artful) as the noose tattooed around his neck. This is a world where the King of England keeps a Chinese mistress in Paris and tries to suppress a video-taped, bathtub "intrusion" of his fifteen- year-old daughter from reaching the Internet. A world of hit men, pornographers, tycoons, and displaced royalty. A world where brilliant people perform unspeakable acts and bodyguards provide no protection.

    almost sound like i'd enjoy it...
    but i can't be arsed....

  5. >>>the next time I'm in the company of People Who Read a Lot (some time around 2046, I would imagine...)<<<

    Slightly worrying statistic from a librarian there Bob.

  6. It's a University Library, Spin.

    I'm surrounded by people who say "innit" a lot.