Friday, January 26, 2007

in which i talk about another book

and so i just finished another book, called goodbye lemon by adam davies, and i'm going to recommend it, even though i know that someone is going to read it, and lob the same complaints at it with which i bludgeoned the sea.

so be it.

and it's true, davies uses words like 'widdershins' and 'fettle,' but never in crucial contexts, and always so you kind of know what they mean. and it's true, you won't get the full effect if you don't have an imprecise knowledge of what hellenization means, or the vague idea that jodhpurs implies something horsey. and it's true, the storyline is kind of trite, and a teensy bit melodramatic, with maybe some deaths and maybe some near-deaths and heroic rescues and maybe a tawdry mixture of scandal and betrayal and maybe some closet skeletons that come out looking oddly noble.

but oh, the delivery. oh, the delight with words. when a man describes his girlfriends car as containing ' she meant to donate to the shelter, scattered plastic playing pieces from same…the detritus of crushed fortune cookies and tortilla chips and Lunchables…a number of petrified ancient Weetabix sarcophagi both jumbo and mini…a fugitive raisin here and there...' among other things, how can you help but smile? and then go and look up 'detritus' because that book you read on crossword puzzles said the key to becoming a better crossword-puzzle-solver was to look up words you didn't know, even if you got all the letters from the crossing words, AND (similarly) to look up words you didn't know in books, even if you could get the jist from the context?

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