Thursday, June 15, 2006

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

In an act of unprecedented benevolence, my company sent round a circular today, letting us all head home a little early, to make sure we make it home in time for kick-off.

Except in my case I have book-group, so I take up a generous offer from the Dog Collar and Rabbit Corpse household (he used to blog once upon a time...) to watch at their place which is en-route. I stop off on the way for provisions: beer, wine, chips and dips – that should see us through.

I haven’t seen them for ages so there’s loads of catching up to do. S is I must say very tolerant as K and I chat through most of the rather uninspiring first half.

Still we got there in the end, even if it wasn’t exactly the most convincing performance going.

On to the pub and Book Group. Well to be precise just T and I given the football and other reasons seem to have seen off everyone else.

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things is an impressive first novel from anyone, let alone a mid-twenty-year-old. Beautifully observed it celebrates the ordinary, the small, but beautiful stories that surround us.

It over-reaches itself slightly in trying to fit this with the underlying narrative thread, but I can forgive that for some of the beautiful descriptions of these average people, in an ordinary street, in a nameless city.

I’m put in mind of John’s walks and his thoughts on reading the everyday. I try to explain purple rubbish bins to T, but I fear I don’t do it justice.

J turns up over an hour late as ever. But in a shock move, she has a copy of the book borrowed from the library. Progress!

She’s only read the first chapter however and as T points out to me after she leaves, this in a book with no real chapters as such, probably means about 5 pages. Still it’s a step in the right direction – celebrate the positive I say.


Caroline said...

definetly up there in my all time favourite books list, beause it is a great book, well written, but possibly simply because the concept of celebrating the ordinary was such a fresh idea to me when i first read it and it remains a gentle prod in the right direction. i love the purple bins talk too - thanks for the link to that

John Davies said...

More purple bins talk at Greenbelt - or if they put me in a low-tech venue then it may be instead, bus stop behaviour talk or all-day breakfast cafe observations....

darren said...

we had this book for our book group last year. very well received by all. i remember the subtle shifts between tenses and beautifully observed features of human life (the remarkable things that no one speaks of)

i also remember when andy turner interviewed jon magregor at greenbelt in a kind of alan partridgesque style 'i'ts a great book, i haven't read it but it looks great'. it went stright over jon magregor's head, thankfully.

1 i z said...

It appears he'll be back with us again this year.

Maybe Andy will get a second crack at that joke ;-)