Saturday, 3 April 2010

Sunday Salon: DNF

The Sunday

I hate not finishing books. Absolutely hate it, even if I'm not enjoying reading it. Over years I have tried to implement a X page number rule. Always a little voice says in the back of my head "What if page X+1 is much better than the previous X pages? Keep going." Hard to do when I survey my Mount TBR which has been culled over the Easter break. I haven't counted my books but I have two tidy boxes and small piles scattered across my room. My two (small) bookcases are usually reserved for books that I plan to keep and are comprised of a mixture of books I have read and TBR books.

In the summer I am moving house after living in my current place for roughly two years. Despite the small space myself and Him Indoors live in, we have gathered a lot of stuff. Memories of our last move made me shudder, due to a combo of weak boxes and too many books. With this in mind the book scythe has been swift and without mercy.

But what book is this post about? The Book of Dave by Will Self. I like Will Self, I like his sarcastic opinion pieces, I liked his appearances on Shooting Stars. But, try as I might, I don't like this book. For those unfamiliar, the story is split between two time zones. One is set in the future after London has suffered from a major flood. This society follows the teachings from 'The Book of Dave'. The other time zone is set in the late twentieth/early twenty-first century and follows the story of Dave, an irate and clearly mental taxi driver going through a painful divorce and custody battle.

The problems I'm having centre around the sections set in the first time zone. Self has quite skillfully built a new world, complete with vernacular language. It's tricky to follow and my brain has been too lazy to follow it. Instead I've been skipping those sections and reading the 'easier' passages set in a more contemporary era. Though someone told me that those sections won't make much sense unless I read the A.D. (stands for After Dave) sections.

This is my second attempt to read this book. I think I'm going to add it to the pile of DNF (Did Not Finish). It hasn't put me off trying another Will Self book though so perhaps I'll return it again.

In other news, I have been re-reading The Crucible by Arthur Miller for a university project. I have to encode a text so I chose Act III of the play. Alas, due to copyright issues, there is no electronic version. I had to key in the Act whilst checking it against my paper copy. Twenty-eight pages later, it's proof read and I can start tagging it.

The Crucible is impossible to avoid if you study Drama or English at an advanced level. At least it was when I was at school (almost ten years ago now!). Due to this it's a favourite of local drama companies because it guarantees bums on seats. To me, a play is not there to be read, it's there to be performed. Although I'm not reading it for this purpose, I have enjoyed re-reading the dialogue and getting caught up in the action of Act III (the act when Proctor confronts the court, Abigail and his wife, amongst other things).

This week's entry might be getting posting a little early. Tomorrow I have Easter lunch with Him Indoors and his family. Then it's off to my parents for Easter dinner. Busy old Easter Sunday.

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