A couple of days ago, I was randomly poking about the blogging world and I stumbled across a well written blog post concerning the thorny issue of ‘giving up on books’. No keen reader likes to admit defeat, but sometimes, …. Well.
The points in this post, and my own comments on them, came back to me this morning, as I find myself faced with the same dilemma. Do I give up on a book?
I still have a couple of reads left over from my holiday book stash, so I’ve finally started on Malcolm Bradbury’s Eating People Is Wrong (EPIW).
Now, I like Malcolm Bradbury. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve read The History Man, but EPIW? This feels clunky, by comparison. Or maybe that’s the difference between a first novel of 1959 and a writer who’s well and truly found his mojo by 1975?
However, this is nothing compared to the fundamental problem that I have regarding EPIW. From the moment I started down the opening page, all I could think about was Lucky Jim and Kingsley Amis. And it wasn’t a favourable comparison. Written five years earlier, Lucky Jim lives up to all the comments that had been posted by literary heavyweights on the back of my copy of EPIW, regarding EPIW.
So, do I abandon ship, or plough on?
On reflection, I shall grit my teeth and keep going. It would be interesting then to try another Bradbury, probably from the late 1960’s, for comparison.
Any recommendations welcome.