Monday, April 24, 2006
Waterstones is promoting the midlist - i.e. those worthy books that don't sell all at once, but drip, drip over the years. Oddly enough, the celebrity list is even more interesting - or at least, the books and writers on it were mostly unknown to me. On Waterstones' list, there's one perennial favourite, Slaughterhouse 5 by Vonnegut, (had it gone so out of fashion that it has to now be rediscovered?) and one book, Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates, which has been lauded so much on its rediscovery that its surely escaped obscurity forever. All lists require that one adds to them - and there are 2 books I read over 15 years ago that I'd still recommend, one sad, one funny. The sad one is "Mars" by Fritz Zorn, apparently not his real name, and it reads like an autobiography - its about a man who gets cancer, but because of how he lives his life. It was a Picador I picked up as a gloomy undergraduate, and reading this life of someone to whom nothing ever happens - except this terrible fate - its horribly addictive in the right mood. Far funnier, is a book that you can often see in secondhand bookshops, "Boy Wonder" by James Robert Baker. Told as a Citizen Kane style series of interviews it tells the story of a maverick film mogul, the gloriously named Shark Trager. Superb stuff.
Posted by Adrian Slatcher at 11:57 AM