Choosing a novel – just one novel – to represent the year 1939 was always going to be tough.
For some reason, 1939 was a pretty good year for literature. Perhaps it was something in the water? James Joyce published his final novel, Finnegans Wake in 1939. But given the…err, slightly less than ideal experience I had reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man last year, there’s no way I’m ready for another barrage of Joyce’s particular brand of bollocks genius just yet. Maybe later. Much later.
John Steinbeck published his other well-known work, The Grapes of Wrath in 1939. But, to tell the truth, I’m not completely over Of Mice and Men. I can’t even think about rabbits without getting a little teary. Which isn’t very convenient, given that it’s the Easter long weekend as I write this review.
If you’d excuse me for a moment, I think there’s *sniff* something in my eye…