Books 2010: McCarthy/Dahl

I'm a footnote in an MA dissertation on Glaswegian author Alasdair Gray. I have arrived, dear readers, I have finally arrived! I finished reading Tom McCarthy's C the other week. It is quite a conventional book despite the breathless reviews comparing it to Finnegans Wake and French anti-novels - but despite its surprisingly orthodox qualities, I really enjoyed the read. It was a novel of ideas steeped in Modernist tropes and preoccupations: Egyptian fertility rites mingled with London soothsayers, merchants from Smyrna and Eastern European sanatoria populated by melancholic rich kids.

If I had been its editor, I would probably have edited out maybe thirty pages from the middle but overall I thought it a thoroughly entertaining read. I am not going to tell you that You Must Read This Book because it is definitely one of those books which will be an acquired taste.

Then I read Roald Dahl's James & the Giant Peach in one go because I was sitting in the autumn sun waiting for some friends.

Next: David Mitchell's The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet. I'm yet to read a Mitchell book I haven't liked - although I am also yet to get beyond the first chapter of Number9dream.

Photo from St. Mungo's Cathedral which I visited yesterday post-Dahl reading.