Saturday, 20 January 2007

The Lay of the Land

I finally finished reading Richard Ford’s Lay of the Land today. It’s been a bit of a slog at times, but I enjoyed it while I was reading it. Someone somewhere described it as ‘expansive’, and I guess it is. It’s certainly very good writing, and in lots of places it provokes deep thought. I think that’s why it has taken me so long – one of the reasons, anyway – to finish it. I don’t think this is as good as The Sportswriter or Independence Day, but I would read it again and I recommend it both for its prose style and for its insights into the Human Condition. The downside of the book is that the narrator is so ordinary (boring, according to one reviewer) that, even though I enjoyed the book while I was reading it, once I’d put it down I was never desperate to pick it up again. But then, in my defence, I have been wrestling with writing/editing two novels of my own just lately!

I know writers who say they can’t read while they’re writing anything. But surely, as writers, we’re always writing something (even if it’s only in our heads). I have no problems with reading while I’m in the middle of a writing project. But I guess it’s each to their own.

I was supposed to run today, but the knee is still sore. Or is that just an excuse?

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