Someone very like Sheldon Cooper falls in love with someone very much not like Sheldon Cooper. This book has a heart; it’s well written and with some seriously laugh-out-loud funny moments, the pages rattle along.
Category Archives: 2016
I figure that reading contemporary novels translated from another language is a good way of gaining insight into what makes that country/culture tick.
But if Buried is to be believed, Danes are really tetchy, all the time; they’re rubbish at teamwork and their dominant workplace culture is a backbiting snake pit of large egos. And no-one has a happy marriage.
It’s interesting how novels from the 1950s often seem more dated than those written 20 years earlier (it’s often the same with films).
The Northern Light is a tale stuffed full with mid 20th century themes and sensibilities, though some of them only get a walk-on part. That’s because there are just too many plotlines to make this fairly short novel work. It all wraps around the story of a solid, provincial newspaper’s struggle against the commercial onslaught of London backed tabloids. But within that we cover nuclear power, abortion, mental health, 1950s style Christianity, various unsatisfactory marriages, postwar grumpiness, local politics, suicide and lots more.
If anyone wants to read a really good author from that era, then I recommend Nevil Shute.
Absolutely fascinating novel, weaving a number of stories around the theme of the so called “surplus women” of the Victorian era. This it turns out was actually a thing; the 1851 census recorded 400,000 more women than men over the age of 20. No-one really knew what led to this, but in a society where the only respectable occupation for a middle class woman other than marriage was to be a governess or paid companion, the result was a great deal of misery for thousands of single women of limited means.
The novel is full of all kinds of for-the-time radical notions and is quite prescient about the likely impact on society of a more equal approach to marriage, work, education and so forth (it was published in 1893).
It’s also a pretty good read, with some well rounded characters. Annoyingly atheistic, but that was the spirit of the age amongst progressive thinking types (much like today)