Captives is slightly larger in size than Paul Wilson’s ‘miniature’, The Little Book of Calm – however, if you’re looking for anything calm in these 112 pages, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. The Little Book of Unheimlich would have made a fitting subtitle for Meyer’s collection of 37 captivating microfictions – short works of anything between a single paragraph and a few pages, each bound together by a shared sense of deep disquietude.
He knew it now: this would be his last novel. He had threatened it before, but this time, he thought, it was true. Beyond the imaginings in India, no feature broke the horizon. He could feel that something had been used up. If he’d stuck to what was familiar and safe, a comfortable tapestry of tea parties and English scenery, he might have kept a quiet industry going, writing numerous books of a similar nature. But the world that interested his was disappearing, or already gone, buried under motor cars and machinery and the smoke of war. Writers should see ahead, not constantly be looking behind them, and his powers couldn’t keep pace with history. There would be no more books like this one.
Damon Galgut’s Arctic Summer is a tantalising thing – it’s a novel about a novel; a fictionalised look at the life of EM Forster during the years he spent writing his final book, A Passage to India. And while Galgut’s Forster in the passage above is indeed right – there’s no other book like A Passage to India – there aren’t many books around that are quite like Arctic Summer, either.
“It isn’t possible to love and to part. You will wish that it was. You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you. I know by experience that the poets are right: love is eternal.”
– E M Forster, A Room with a View
When author Annabel Smith, invited me over to her blog to write about my favourite book – or, at least, one of my favourite books – E M Forster’s A Room with a View came immediately to mind.
Click here to pop over to Annabel’s blog and have a read!
(Oh, and while you’re there, make sure you find out more about Annabel’s novels – Whisky Charlie Foxtrot and A New Map of the Universe. You should also take a look at all the other talented authors, bloggers and bookish sorts who have contributed to Annabel’s Friday Faves and read about their favourite books)
In other news, I am finding myself falling in love with writing again. And yes, I’m currently reviewing a book published in 1960. Finally.