I’ve been a bit remiss with my appreciation of the ladies of The blue bookcase recently and now like some guilty schoolboy, I find myself sneaking back after a period of truancy, to one hell of a question.
What work of literature
would you recommend to someone
who doesn't like literature?
What speak to people that have no affection for the written word? Isn’t that called work? I mean what about the “ is it out on DVD yet” and other such questions that one faces when you speak to – Those That Do Not Read!!!!!!!!!!!!
Well recently I’ve recommended “The Book Thief” by Marcus Zusak, but I’m not sure it counts, as it comes with some YA hang up (although I loved it). So where does that leave me? hmmmmm
How about a book that I described as “A proper Russian Novel” – “The Dream Life of Sukhanov” by Olga Grushin and the reason I described it as such was that the author had invested in the character of Sukhanov, all the angst and pathos, all the weakness and hubris that I remember reading in all those great Russian novels. Sukhanov goes on an epic journey of rediscovery, he is constantly assailed by images from his past, haunted by all those ideals he repressed for the sake of a career in the USSR. Yet things change, and it’s in this change, Sukhanov is left to question his choices…. yet this is not a hard book to read - the tale flows, you follow the lines smiling over the way they roll and before you know, you’ve read more pages than are left & you try to slow down, to savour what remains.
Another possible book to suggest would be “Strangers” by Taichi Yamada, This was one of the books that got me into Japanese Literature – This book has moments of sheer beauty with an insidious, underlying fear. This book deals with subjects such as memory, loss & the need for human touch and again has a style that just makes you want to keep the pages turning.Now this wouldn’t be The Parrish Lantern if I didn’t mention a poetry book, so I’ll recommend three, all from the Bloodaxe Publishers and all Edited by the fantastic Neil Astley
Staying Alive, Being Alive and Being Human, they have been described as distilling the heart as nothing else.