I’m really pleased with how my Month of Re-Reading is going. And unlike some of those millions of Barbara Pyms, these two are very firmly on the book pile to the left (as are the two I’m currently reading – more of those later. But for now, two very different books, although both of them seem quite escapist and like some more holiday reading. I suppose it is the summer holidays, even if I’m not off much. Actually, I took advantage of having some free time on Monday and Tuesday (including a thunderstorm during which I turned off the computer and went downstairs with my book and cats) to get a lot of the first one read, and have been able to linger over my meals a little with the second one. Of course, work is ramping up again now, but I’m still determined to carve out reading time!
Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace – “Are You Dave Gorman?”
(11 October 2001)
As I may have mentioned in my original post about this Month of Re-Reading, I chose a few representative books for this month to see if they were actually worth the re-read. This one, the Joanna Trollope (which I haven’t got to yet) and the Molly Moynahan (which I might well not get to at all) fall into this category. I have quite a few “quest” books on my shelf, you know, the kind of book that starts with a daft bet and then tells the story of what happened next. Once you know who won the bet, is it worth keeping for a future re-read? Well, the answer as regards this one, which will stand for and thus protect all the others, is a resounding “Yes”.
I hadn’t read this at all since the original purchase and read back in 2001 (a few days after I got together with M – I dimly remember buying stacks of books at the Books Etc. near his flat), and it’s still fresh and funny, as well as endearing. In fact, it’s probably more sweet and endearing than I remember, being very much about Dave and Danny’s friendship. This friendship, and Danny’s relationship with his girlfriend, is put to the test as they embark upon an almost accidental search for people called Dave Gorman. Having two writers alternating sections works well and allows for very funny double-aspect descriptions of the same events at times, although avoids being repetitive, and there’s a palpable sense of the friendship and people behind the humour, which makes it more of a satisfying read than just whizzing through to see if they achieve their target. I like the epilogue, which updates us on various developments and appearances of badges and t-shirts in different TV programmes. This actually made me want to go and re-read other quest and travel books in my collection.
Georgette Heyer – “Devil’s Cub”
(18 March 2013)
One of my naughty purchases from The Works; I pulled three of these out of the TBR because I’m confident that I’ve read them all before, so it’s an easy way to make the Month of Re-Reading work to whittle down the TBR shelf to an extent (an extent rather undermined by my purchases this month, admittedly!)
You find all that you could wish for in a Regency Romance in this one – and sorry if you never wish for a Regency Romance; I love Heyer and have done since my teens, and make no apologies for that. It’s not a guilty pleasure, just a pleasure! There are dangerous heroes, resourceful heroines, chases, France, elopements, misunderstandings, dresses and boots, and excellent supporting characters. In this book’s case, there’s the additional delight of it being the sequel to the equally marvellous “These Old Shades” (read last July), finding the characters from that novel twenty years down the line, but still very much the same, and not very wiser, with Leonie in particular as fiery as ever. After a rather violent beginning for Heyer, we settle down for a good, rollicking read, with clear-headedness and bravery celebrated and love being found in odd corners. Very enjoyable.
Current reading is Magnus Magnusson’s “Iceland Saga”, first purchased and read in 1991, while I was studying the sagas at University, and very enjoyable still, and Anthony Powell’s “Dance to the Music of Time: Spring”, which I’m reading with M and some friends in the usual fashion, so that’s progressing a little more slowly than it would if I was reading it independently. Much fun being had by all, though!