When the police apprehended me I was still carrying the book I’d stolen from the Oxfam bookshop in Chipping Norton, a pretty Cotswold town where I’d been addressing a reading group.
No-one’s (very) likeable in this story about a writer who turns his life into a novel about writing about his life.
Main character Guy Ableman is pretty sure books and reading them is on the high way to eternal death. Publicists kill themselves, agents hide away and people only read 3 for 2 bullshit purchased at Primark.
He needs to write a book for people whom stopped reading.
And he finds his inspiration (or something similar) in his need to sleep with his mother-in-law. Meanwhile his wife is too much for him, his new publisher likes to think about non-reading ways to get to readers and well ..it’s a swan’s song about publishing, literature and authors.
Some of the whining hit home, rang true and was awfully similar to known frustrations. Same for the characteristics of the red haired Vanessa (see icon). But how can you like a story when you (angrily) pity all of the characters? What do you take away from it?
And as previous experiences show; the comedy genre sticker my library doles out is completely random. The only laughs I had were spare and bitter.
Zoo Time, Howard Jacobson, Bloomsbury 2012