Sunday, February 13, 2005

Finally got to the end of Ryu Murakami's Coin Locker Babies. I was seriously beginning to think that I had lost the ability to read a novel. I blame the ridiculously small typeface. Just to confirm that I can plough my way through books when I want to, I picked up Taichi Yamada's Strangers and read it in one sitting. Unlike the Murakami, the typeface was more reader-friendly and there were 200 pages less (and probably a quarter of the words). It was also a real page-turner. I didn't want to like it - when I bought it it was piled high in Waterstones and I felt like I'd somehow been forced into the purchase. Yet I loved it's eerie quality - as it says on the dust jacket, it evokes the atmosphere of both Haruki Murakami and Paul Auster. There was a lovely little bit too about the joyful smiles that loved ones give you when you return from a trip away (p 94, book clubbers). This reminded me of a day when I returned from a three week stint laying bricks down south, walking into the back yard of our little terraced house and a toddling Danielle looking up at me, giving me the broadest grin and telling me with her eyes how glad she was to see me. I burst into tears. Thing is, when I look at her now, that face of hers is still the same. And I honestly don't need anything more than that from my children.

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