A few months ago I wondered how was I supposed to spend that thirty minutes on the tube that I have to take every day to and from work? The most boring hour in the dark tunnels pressed together with sweaty strangers and screaming children. Of course I could read Metro or Evening Standard but I didn’t think the news would lift my mood. And there were books: an extra piece of something I have to put into my handbag which in weight now is quite similar to what I had as a primary school student. But if I could bear it when I was half the size then why couldn’t I handle it now, full grown?
I started with The Chronicles of Narnia, yeah, tiny little books, but they transferred me from the dark tunnels to the green fields of Narnia which was a nice change. Then I started what everyone read around me, simply out of curiosity, Fifty Shades of Grey and God help, I never read such a poorly written novel in my entire life! I got through 100 pages and just stopped because it annoyed the hell out of me. Characters, storyline, everything is just rubbish. But. It’s not the authors fault that it became so popular, of course it was her aim and her best interest but it’s the people who have bought it. So people wake up! If you want to read about sex or sadomaso, read Coelho’s Eleven Minutes!
I wanted something nice after the shock of Fifty Shades. Something special, something that would count to LITERATURE. So I started Joanne Harris’s Blackberry Wine. It is a wonderful read. It is magic. I drink every word of it but never getting hangover. The structure is very clever, interesting narrator, beautifully written, and I can hardly wait for that half an hour on the tube which always ends too soon.
“He took a mouthful.(…) It tasted as dreadful as it did when he was a boy. There was no grape in this brew, simply a sweetish ferment of flavours, like whiff of garbage. It smelt like the canal in summer and the derelict railway sidings. It had an acrid taste, like smoke and burning rubber, and yet it was evocative, catching at his throat and his memory, drawing out images he thought were lost for ever. He clenched his fists as the images assailed him, feeling suddenly light-headed.” (Blackberry Wine, Joanne Harris. Black Swan. 2001)
I think my next read is going to be Five Quarters of the Orange…