Thursday, August 22, 2013

This & That

I am sure you all read about the sad death of one of the giants of the American book scene, Elmore    Leonard.   Leonard published his first book in 1953, The Bounty Hunters, and went on to write 45 books though it was with Get Shorty that he amassed a huge following.   His books were full of humour - in a very black way - and his dialogue carried the narrative.   He painted his characters through their dialogue, a technique adopted by Roddy Doyle, and operated to strict rules.   He always used 'said' and never embroidered that simple verb and, according to himself, he eschewed those parts of a book that readers usually skip.  A unique writer.   Rest in peace, Elmore.

Here's one just out not to be missed:   Catherine O'Flynn has published her third novel, Mr Lynch's Holiday.   This one is based in a Spanish holiday village just before the 2008 crash and the expats who inhabit it, particularly Dermot who arrives there for his very first holiday abroad.   You may remember What Was Lost, Catherine's first novel which won multiple first novel awards in 2007, including the Costa, and was long listed for the Booker Prize.   I challenge anyone to make a novel about a shopping centre so absorbing so I can't wait to see what she does with a holiday village!

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