Holidays. Gah! Bliss. Even if, like me, you end up spending most of the day under the duvet in Southern Spain playing Scrabble, sheltering against the chill and the gushing elements in a house built for sweltering heat and nary a breeze. Even then it is joy, joy, joy not to be at home, ticking through your to-do list and peering at your ever-more-filthy carpets wondering if you can be bothered to get them professionally cleaned. (That may just be me.)
Anyway, a holiday means a bookworm must make a key choice:
a. Use holiday to for Self-Improving Lengthy Works of Literature.
b. Sink into total self-indulgence and read all the stuff you normally don’t allow yourself to because you only have one lifetime and there are too many REAL books.
I do generally choose a. Honestly I do. But this just wasn’t one of those times.
I’m one of the last people around to read Gone Girl. I even saw a picture with Sarah Jessica Parker with a copy, and that’s enough to make me burn a book. But in the spirit of a lazy holiday, I hoovered it up. And it’s fantastic! It’s a true page-turner, and thoroughly well-written. I could pipe up something about it being no Faulks or Murakami, but frankly I enjoyed it much more than anything I’ve read from them. Sacrilege, maybe? No matter.
I won’t discuss details, because it’s a thriller, and I can only ruin it. The majority is finely tuned excellence – horror-tinged-mystery, with sharp characters and a fast-paced succession of twists. It’s not faultless – the end gets a bit gothic and blood-chillery. But that’s what you’ve signed up for, so you can revel in it, guilt-free. The other plus of reading something truly “popular” is that I can and do recommend it to everyone. Even my 15-year old cousin, who I hadn’t seen in 12 years, didn’t escape my needy, boney clutch on her elbow: “You MUST read it. It’s GREAT.”
And reader, I say the same to you. Go on, have a holiday.