Are we all on the same page? Good. Then if we can all agree that it’s really quite hot out there – you know, really hot, not like abroad-hot (different heat entirely) but proper muggy hot – then I think we might safely proceed onwards to some book-related chat.
Following last month’s jamboree of summer-inspired reading, I’m reverting to form and choosing reads based on nothing more than whims. This month, I’m going to make Evil and the Mask my main read – a less sunny book you’ll be want to find. This is the second of Fuminori Nakamura’s novels to be translated into English, following up on The Thief (my review), which was released last year. Fumihiro Kuki, the last son of Shozo Kuki, is sired to be a cancer to the world but as he grows he struggles against this path, wanting to make his own way in the world.
Just in case I haven’t got my fill of bleakness by then, I’ll pick up Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaghterhouse-Five for a little more abject death and despair. Mixing science-fiction with realism, and shoving both time and space into the great literary blender, the outcome is a very unique look at war and the bombing of Dresden by allied forces in 1945.
A little closer to home for my final two reads, and I’ll look first at Metroland by Julian Barnes – bildungsroman of the English suburbs. Set in the part of outer London where I grew up (admittedly a few years later than the main character here) I think I have every chance of empathising. Barnes’s style is so clean and measured that it often feels overly simple – probably a mark of real quality – and I look forward to reading his first novel and marking any differences in his early style.
Finally, an indulgence. For those who are unaware or uninterested in the world of Football Manager, look away now. The definitive football management sim now has a book that brings together the toil and heartache that all of the game’s players will know. A celebration of the community which has grown up over the last two decades, Football Manager Stole My Life is, I will admit, a niche read, but it’s my niche baby, so let’s roll…
Notable Posts from July