Monday, October 05, 2009


One of the joys of travel is the amount of reading time it affords you. Four flights in three days last week meant I was able to read three books while sitting 30,000ft above the Earth – Paul Auster’s The Music of Chance and Leviathan and Murakami’s Dance Dance Dance (more on him in a few days time).

Auster is a writer I was introduced to about two weeks ago and already absolutely love. I read The New York Trilogy and The Man in the Dark after my housemate lent them to me and they are both utterly absorbing and written with prose that while inherently plain and simple (in the best possible sense) is also full of delicious turns of phrase or odd, quirky ideas. Sometimes it veers into the realms of meta-fiction but never at the expense of plot and story. Furthermore almost all the stories stay with you after you finish reading - leading you to question incidents that happen, or wonder further about the fates of the characters.

After reading TNYT and TMIND I popped into a bookshop to buy The Music of Chance mainly because in Ghostwritten by David Mitchell - which I read about two months ago - there’s a character in a band called The Music of Chance, which is referenced too, with the character noting, the band ‘is named after that book by some New York guy’. When I found MOC sat next it was sat next to a copy of another book of Auster's called Leviathan (the same title as my favourite book of the year so far) and so I picked that up too. Then, on Friday, I found The Brooklyn Follies in Oxfam for £2 and so grabbed that too, and started it today. From 50 pages or so read on the tube so far it seems as good as the others…

Over the weekend I also read The House of Sleep by Jonathan Coe, which was really good – not quite as good as his What a Carve Up! – but still excellent. Confusingly, it features a character called Terry Worth, referred to mainly as Worth, who’s a film critic journalist. Lead to some sentences and phrases that sounded worryingly similar to my own life.


Jon Severs said...

You're getting to be a prolific reader... get into reviews!

Dan W said...

Yeah I would love to. Happy knack of being a fast reader.

Phil said...

Gotta thank you for the Leviathon or, the Whale recommendation - loved it!

Wish I had as much time to read as I'd like - harder to read on bike to work than on train!

Dan W said...

No worries, glad you liked it. Such a good, quirky book. Have been hawking it to everyone I can, as you can tell!