Wednesday, April 13, 2005

I've had this passed onto me by Jessica, so here goes:

You're stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be?

As Vixgirl said I haven't read Fahrenheit 451 -- but from what I can tell, this is a question about which book you would memorise and, accordingly, which book your life would come to resemble.
So with that in mind, I think that I would have to go for something by the marvellous P. G. Wodehouse. I think I’d plump for Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves as it features Bertie Wooster, Jeeves (of course) and the splendidly hapless Gussie Fink-Nottle. What joy, to be locked in that wonderfully daft world.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Not exactly a crush, by I was thoroughly smitten with the enigmatic Shimamoto in Haruki Murakami’s South of the Boarder, West of the Sun. As with all of Murakami’s protagonists, she has very little to say, yet manages to cast a sublime spell over the book.

The last book you bought is?
A Question of Upbringing by Anthony Powell. Picked this up for £2 the other day. It’s the first book in Powell’s 12 volume series - A Dance to the Music of Time. It’s actually replacing an old copy which I foolishly lent to an old college and of course never saw again. Back in the the late 80’s I got as far number 8 in the series and one day I know that I’ll go to them and will complete series. For those that don’t know the books, it’s a wonderfully acidic look at the English ruling class. The book in question is delightful penguin 1st edition from 1962

The last book you finished is?
In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami. No relation to Haruki Murakami, this chap looks like becoming another fixture in my ongoing obsession with fiction from Japan. This is a very short but hypnotic journey into the dark side of Tokyo of life. As with many of his compatriots the style is detached and understated, even whilst describing some stomach churning events.

What are you currently reading?
The Victim by Saul Bellow. Another £2 pick up the other day. I tried reading Herzog by Bellow on a couple of occasions, without completing it. I read a lot about him since his recent death and thought it was time to try something else. I’ve only read 14 pages so far, it’s rather too soon to say if I’ll make it to the end of this one.

Five books you would take to a desert island?

Way too tough, this is the sort of list that would change every time I wrote it down. Anyway here is the list for today:
The Corrections By Jonathan Franzen. Plenty of time on a desert island to work my way through this masterful insight into family life. Everyone who moans about their family should read this. Fantastic

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome. Yet more upper class English twerps (something of a theme developing!). Still makes me laugh 25 years after I first read it, worth having just for the description of Uncle Podger attempting to hang a picture - genius.

Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky. The first really grown up book I read, I’m still amazed at the way in which Dostoyevsky puts you right in the mind of poor Raskolnikov. The gathering despair and paranoia is mesmerising. This really is a book to lose yourself in.

Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami. I could have chosen any of his books, they all have so much to offer. This is one of his funniest books, as he links Sci-Fi with hard boiled thriller, few others writers could pull this off.
Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto. Another wonderful book from Japan, this one a classic coming of age book, which rewards repeated reading.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
Joanna - Compulsive reader, brilliant writer
Pete - Reads lot’s of books I’ve never heard of and always engages my curiosity.
Tally Ho Sulky - Great insights from our native New Yorker.

4 Comments:

Blogger Jessica said...

i agree this is a really tough quiz -- but what a great answer for the first question. wouldn't it be bliss to have your life be like a p.g. wodehouse book. i adore his books - such wonderful escapism and such terrific characters. in that vein, I think I'm going to have to get Three Men In A Boat (which I've never read) as well as the Ryu Murakami one .. thanks for the tips!

10:22 am  
Blogger Tom said...

Thanks for prompting me to think about it.

5:50 pm  
Anonymous guile said...

the corrections is a very good book :)..

10:49 am  
Blogger Tom said...

It's really is.

3:05 pm  

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