I wanted to love A God of Small Things. It sounds clever, it looks clever, it had great reviews – everyone I spoke to had loved it. I was going to love it. I was going to be swept into another world, my heart was going to rip in two with the terrible events in the story – I was going to come to a deeper understanding of the caste system, of the rise of communism in India – the legacy of colonialism. The OrangeDrink LemonDrink Man was going to haunt my dreams.
For I am a Serious Reader. I belong to book clubs. I keep Goodreads updated ( well I did before the buy out – see, I even know there was a buy out – I am an informed woman).
I stroked the lovely matt cover, turned over the first page and read….
Gosh it took a long time.
I even quite liked Velutha but…
I still wasn’t all that bothered when what happpened happened.
Hmmm. Lot’s of nice scenes interspersed with a lot of other words. Boy, was it hard work. I don’t like my books being hard work. I want to fall into a world and be swept along by it, good or bad. Why didn’t that happen? What’s wrong with me? Which part of my brain is failing to connect with what is clearly a Work Of Art?
When I finished it, I ditched it with some relief and picked up Dougal Trump’s new book. Yeah yeah, I know, it’s a kids book. It’s got a shiny red cover and a cartoon boy on the front. I’m a middle aged woman , reading this is work OK? I wangled a review copy, I’ve got to read it and review. Got to.
Ah ha ha ha!!!
Well constructed, fun, tightly plotted, a world I happily fell in to. The little snippets dropped in from each character somehow, amazingly in so few words, deftly draw Dougie’s world. My bath water went cold as I turned page after page.
Damn it all. I see myself as a sophisticated book club lady! Turns out I’m harbouring an inner small boy.
Come to think of it, last time I went to actual book club I cycled back over a field using a wind up pig torch in lieu of light and fell in a ditch when I tried to stop.
Maybe I should just give in to it?