Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Sunday Salon

Today I'm supposed to be marking, coursework deadlines are very close so I have teenagers (some nervous some indifferent) shoving pieces of coursework at me from every angle, expecting it to be marked in no time at all so they can edit it. Its sunny and gorgeous outside, and every inch of me wants to wander, but I'm forcing myself to stay in. And after this post is written I'll be forcing myself to mark :C

So just a quick note on my readings.
Earlier in the week I finished Magpie by Jill Dawson and somehow forgot to talk about it. After finishing the momouth A Suitable Boy I decided something quick and easy was needed and a friend wanted to borrow this so I rushed through it, and it was better than I expected.
The novel centres around a young single mother and her son, they are trying to start new life after a fire at their old house and the 'loss' of the father. Moving to a rough estate in London, miles from the quaint Yorkshire of their past, they have a lot to get used to. Money struggles, hearing their neighbors getting up to all sorts, being one of the few white families around and the sons sudden bad behaviour.
The novel was a quick and easy read, although I guessed the revelation at the end of the book very early on. If you're tempted to try this author, this book is worth a read, but I would recommend her novel Wild Boy first.

Then this morning I finished the short story Amok by Stefsn Zweig. Zweig is the year long author over at a librarything group which I belong to, I hadn't really heard of him before and was reluctant to start so I grabbed Amok and Other Stories as my first foray into the author.
Amok is one of those stories where the narrator recalls a conversation with another person as a means of telling the story. In this case the narrator meets a man at midnight on the voyage home from India to Germany. The man, a doctor, is a mystery as he is never to be seen during the day and he has asked the narrator not to reveal that he is on the ship. His story centres around his guilt and obssession over a female patient. I can't reveal more than that without giving away to much.
The confession is fast paced and the man's distress and need to confess spill out across the page at a pace which matches his sense of urgency. I'd recommend lovers of short stories to give this a read. I can't wait to read the other stories in the collection now.

1 comment:

Eva said...

I'm really curious about Zweig! And I love short stories, so I'll see if I can find this collection. :)

Good luck w/ all that grading.