Sunday, September 19, 2010

Thoughts on A Pregnant Widow

In a few weeks time I'm off to the Cheltenham Literary Festival which is one of the biggest festivals of its type in the UK. It's a two week event which hosts readings and interviews with some of the biggest literary stars and a number of  presenters, actors and comedians who have also crossed over into the world of literature. I'm only going for a weekend but I've managed to get tickets to see Martin Amis, Sebastian Faulks, Jilly Cooper, Salman Rushdie and Andrew Motion. I'm also (wait for it!) going to a 3 hour journalists course! Um....I'm a little worried I'll be the only student over 40 and the others will be "bright young things" but well...what the hell...I decided to bite the bullet and just go and see what happens. I guess I'm one of those people who just like learning and trying out new things. Anyway I've made an idiot of myself so many times I figure one more time won't hurt.......

So I've got plenty of reading to do; I like to be prepared for such things. I want to be one of those folks who nods their head wisely when Salman Rushdie says " On page 451 when I use a cognitive metaphor rather than a therapeutic metaphor....."

Okay, okay - I won't. You know me too well!  I'll really be thinking...

"I wonder what he'd look like if he shaved off that ridiculous beard? How much was his divorce settlement? Did he ex wife take a signed copy of Satanic Verses with her and sell it on Ebay?"

Yep, you know......the intellectually challenging questions.

Anyway, I've got a serious pile of reading to do; Jilly Cooper's latest novel Jumpwhich was published last week. Sebastian Faulk's latest A Week in DecemberThe Cinder Path  by Andrew Motion, Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie and The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis. I'm already familiar with the writing style of  Faulks and Cooper so I'm starting with my weakest areas. Yep, you'll have to excuse my ignorance - but yes; I hadn't read any Amis. Shock, horror! Anyway, I'm now about 100+ pages into The Pregnant Widow and.....

Crikey is it hard work. I think it's meant to be a sort of comedy of manners set in 1970 when the sexual revolution was in full swing. But it's just not working for me. Well not yet. I'll probably stick with it to the end because in parts it's quite entertaining. However, it has that academic, self satisfied feel to it where the author and other well educated fellows from Oxford will be laughing at some obscure joke and the rest of us will be thinking....I bought this in hardback?

So, I know nothing about Amis. So to confirm my suspicions let's Google Martin Amis.....

Yep, he went to Exeter College, Oxford.

Now I'm the one being smug! Ho hum. Anyway, I'm going to finish the book and see what happens.....

I'll think I'll read Jilly Cooper's Jump next. I should be able to breeze through that in 24 hours. After Amis it'll be a bit of lightweight fun. Then perhaps time to tackle Rushdie......

Cripes, there's nothing making hard work for yourself is there? Maybe I should just take a bottle of plonk with me and get sloshed in the auditorium?

Anyway, I'm planning on writing some book reviews for the The View From Here...maybe my first one will be An Evening with Amis, A Pregnant Widow and A Bottle of Plonk.....Hmm...could pull the readers in on that one....... or maybe What's Amiss with Amis?....... or maybe Amis went to Oxford, I went to Wales and his book went to Oxfam. Hmm... that has quite a good ring to it.......

Anyway, time to go. Duty calls.

Right, where did I put that book? I need a door-stopper....

3 comments:

  1. I'm so jealous. I'd love to go to a literary festival right now, just to get inspired. Your comment about 'young journalist types' made me smile - I remember years ago ringing up a media agency to look for secretarial work and when they said 'how old are you?' and I said, '30', there was an audible intake of breath on the other end of the line.

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  2. I haven't read any Amis either (M or K) and I don't intend to start.

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  3. Hi Fran,

    Now you've got me even more paranoid! I shall have to tell everyone I'm only 21 but have be stricken by a rare aging disease:)

    I think this is the first time ever I've had a weekend break without the family that hasn't been for a funeral or such like - Now all I need is to run into Pierce Brosnan and it will be the perfect weekend!

    Fingers crossed you'll get such an opportunity soon:)

    Mrs A - A sensible decision indeed:)However, if you change your mind you're welcome to borrow my doorstopper....

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