The only good thing about sitting on a plane for 6 hours instead of the expected 2 and a half (thank you, French air traffic controllers) is that you get to read a whole book in one sitting – the Peabodies managed The Paris Wife (Paula McLain): Hemingway doesn’t improve upon acquaintance, though to be honest, I wanted to strangle the lot of them by the end, and Andrew Miller’s Pure (“very good”). Up in the mountains of Mallorca, Elly Griffiths’s A Room Full of Bones went down easily, followed by William Boyd’s Waiting For Sunrise: not perfect in its attempts to blend the atmospheres of fin-de-siècle Vienna and First World War London but entertaining nonetheless, and a dip into Simon Armitages’s Death of King Arthur translation. John Lanchester’s Capital apparently proved quite readable after opening chapters which provoked fury (a banker agonises about how to spend his obscene bonus……). Finally, S J Watson’s Before I Go to Sleep, the first novel by a former audiologist, has earned magnificent reviews, leaping to the top of the bestseller charts and it’s easy to see why: it’s a gripping, puzzling thriller, which combines Memento with Harlan Coban and Groundhog Day (and passed the time rather well on board the plane for the return trip – only an hour’s delay this way).
April 10, 2012 By