29th January, 2017

Well the end of the holidays is nigh.  It has been a productive month, one book completed, query letter written and edited as was the synopsis and all sent to agents and a publisher interested in the genre.  Fingers crossed.  Now to begin on the edit of Living in London in earnest.

Reading ‘The Sellout’ by Paul Beatty, winner of the Man Booker prize for 2016, was not such an enjoyable experience for me.  I guess the best way to explain it was that it was a ‘boys’ book, which sounds sexist and may not really be the case but I found it a difficult read.  It was wordy, which I didn’t mind too much, and on occasions there was humour, however, I felt a lot of it was sarcasm.  It received many glowing reviews (it did win the Man Booker Prize!) which described it as witty and satirical. About a third of the way through the book, I was desperate as to why it won any prizes and read some reviews with one review encouraging the reader to;

best to relax and enjoy the comic set pieces as they unfurl.’

SMH, Peter Keanelly, 19/11/2016

Which was a relief, (I wasn’t an illiterate idiot) and enjoyed the remaining two thirds a lot more.

That said, Beatty discusses issues relevant to Americans today using metaphors within the book.  At one point through the protagonist convinces people in his home town to adopt segregation, in order to put it back on the map.  Beatty reminds the reader that segregation is still alive and kicking, perhaps not in such an obvious manner, and the success he allows the protagonist in doing so is amusing and compelling.   A good read if you’re feeling intellectual!


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