Sunday, December 13, 2009

Seasonal Bend

I finished The Rotters' Club Jonathan Coe Thursday evening. I didn't care for it as much as did What A Carve-Up! the truly artful turn is Ben's description at the end, his taste of bliss and the nascent humiliation which is as tangible as the pint of Guinness he holds as he rambles. Following that, my wife and I rented History Boys from Wild and Woolly last night. The public school theme did lead me to re-rent If, but one viewing of Malcolm McDowell on a rooftop with a Bren mowing down classmates and faculty does go a long way. I have never read Alan Bennett's work but was immensely satisfied by the film treatment.


Blogger Levi Stahl said...

The little bit of Bennett's work I've read has been elegant, light, and pleasing, as if written through a gently amused grin. Just last week, I read his The Uncommon Reader, which I really enjoyed and couldn't help but describe to friends as "cute."

As for Coe, I've only read The Rotters' Club and its sequel, The Closed Circle. I loved the former, absolutely falling for the seeming openness of its narrative, the sense that these lives were actually being lived rather than guided by a plan--the various plot threads didn't all cohere, and we weren't given answers to many of the questions raised, as would have been the case in real life. Imagine my frustration, then, when The Closed Circle stepped in and answered all those questions and, as the title suggests, closed all those circles.

Still, you join Ed Park in praising What a Carve-Up, and that's a solid pair of recommenders. I'm going to have to give Coe another try.

11:24 AM  

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