This week’s question:
What was the last book you could not finish and why?
I know life is too short for underwhelming book but I usually finish what I started. The one book that came so close to not being finished this year is London Fields by Martin Amis. I lost interest about two-thirds of the way and I just skimmed through it so that I didn’t miss anything important. I have the sense that Amis may have been too clever in outwitting himself. It opens brilliantly with this pre-announced whodunnit without a motive. But from there, despite his lyricality and ingenious monologue, the entire book is a con-trick that leads you to expect one thing, and offers you another. At times the authorial voice is too intrusive, screaming pretentiousness and undermining the characters. I admire his wit, the prodigious span of diction, but he needs more substance and less of this intrusive style. I’m disappointed at this tome of a book that is entirely an elaborate tease. It’s just another meditation for the way the world ends wrapped in a quasi-love story that turns out to be an unresolved mess.