Middle C by William H Gass is a philosophical story of migration and music. It is also a tale of pretence and ‘wannabes’. Gass begins with the premise ‘The fear that the human race might not survive has been replaced by the fear that it will endure’ (page 22). And returns to that premise continuously until page 283 – ‘Some of us used to wonder whether the human race would escape the consequences of its own folly, but now we worry that our own species will somehow go on indefinitely regardless of how wickeldy it behaves’. There are several members of the family who are pretending to be something that they are most definitely not. And they are waiting to be found out.
Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut – Margaret Atwood tweeted that she’d just finished this fabulous books once again so I thought I should read it. I’m glad I did. I found his way of writing very engaging; as though he was there telling you the story. Of course, the destruction of Dresden is a tragic story but the telling of it was intriguing.
Lexicon by Max Barry is another of his most wonderful books. I’ve become a Max Barry fan. His imagination and ability to take a concept to the extreme never fails to amaze me. The idea of finding a word or ‘bareword’ which will persuade someone to do whatever you tell them is an incredibly powerful concept. Is it really possible? Maybe.
The Voyage by Murray Bail is a bit difficult to read as there are very few paragraph breaks and no chapter breaks. Where to stop for a break is the continuing question? Bail’s story jumps from Vienna to the voyage back to Australia very quickly – from sentence to sentence. You have to be on your toes to know when the story has moved. It was an interesting tale of piano sales, relationships and travel to foreign lands. I’m not sure that I completely understood all the relationship intrigues that were going on but the ending made me laugh.