05 December 2008

Eyes and Ears - 05/12/2008

I've introduced a new rule for reading now that my Endless (I Wish) Summer is here: no reading during daylight hours. Except if I'm waiting. Like I was the other evening while someone shopped for bread and milk. Then you get absorbed in what's in front of you and you either miss your bus or have a small heart attack when the car door opens. Anyway, my point is that the day time has got to pack too much other stuff into it and then when the night comes I can flake out on the lounge with the book of the moment.

Which, this week, has been Beautiful Children by Charles Bock. It's about a missing child and there the similarity to last week's reading ends. The book starts out in a wide arc, covering a range of characters not directly connected to the story, taking in time before the boy disappears, and moves in ever decreasing circles, gathering in people, places and events, building suspense and revealing a little more to the reader. Bock's writing reminds me of David Foster Wallace - both of them adept at merging the voice of the narrator with the characters' voices, both good at taking you on wild, detailed tangents and bringing you neatly back to the story. This book is darker than London's book, but it enjoys its darkness and as the story picks up pace you are drawn on, galloping along with it to find out where you're headed and what happens next.

The writing isn't in the same league as London's. It's pretty sloppy in places and I get the sense the author thought this might be the only book he'd ever write so he's tried to get everything in, but it's still a highly recommended read.

Radio hb:
Dirty Jeans - Magic Dirt
Deeper Water - Dead Star
Sweater - Eskimo Joe
Surf City Limits - Fauves
Suspicion Bells - Effigy

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