Monday, March 30, 2015

Fits And Starts

I've found it very difficult to get down to any serious reading since we got back from KL. I'm supposed to be reading Dash Hammett's The Thin Man but such is the disconnectedness of the process that I'll probably start all over again with it this week. The only thing I've found myself able to really settle to is the latest edition of The New York Review of Books, and that's because it's easy to read piecemeal.

This is all quite a contrast with proceedings when we were on holiday when I got through quite a bit of poetry, including Ondaatje's The Collected Works of Billy the Kid in addition to the stuff I've mentioned in recent posts, and no fewer than three novels - these being the sequence that constitute the final three-fifths of American Science Fiction, Five Classic Novels 1956 - 1958 in the extremely agreeable Library of America edition. Of the three I loved one, James Blish's Catholic-themed A Case of Conscience; found one eminently readable, Algis Budrys's Who? (incredibly reminiscent of early Le Carre, by the way); and struggled in an amiable fashion with Fritz Leiber's The Big Time. A remarkable little list in itself of demandingly experimental fiction.

Looking back I'm not entirely sure how I found the time to read that much, but I'm glad I did. And I wish I could now.

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