This books is funny, sad, wise and reflective. Definitely not all at once, it moves through the mental states of the protagonist whilst also moving he moves through youth and then old age. The book only has 2 chapters which are effectively ‘the past’ and ‘the present’.
Early in the book Barnes uses the phrase ‘what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed’ and this to me is the whole crux of the book. Anthony is reflecting on things that have happened in his past but finds out later on in life that his memory isn’t quite the truth.
Some quotes on the (joys / stresses?) of youth:
“Yes, of course we were pretentious – what else is youth for”
“We luxuriated in the doldrums of adolescence, imagining our routine discontent to be an original response to the human condition”
Read: February 2015
Format: Kindle (from start to finish in a sunny patch of the Algarve)
An aside: I’ve realised in looking back over my book reviews that progress looks incredibly slow on what I’m reading. And that’s OK, because life is busy and I have a full time job, friends and family I want to spend time with plus numerous DIY projects on the go, but I’ve also been reading other books. So although they’re generally not ‘award winning’ and definitely not from the Booker Prize list I thought it was worth mentioning when I write a review.
So, one the condition all you literary buffs out there don’t judge me, this month’s (February 2015) ‘Books on the side’ were:
- Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert Let’s just say I’m not in any hurry to watch the film, even on a long plane journey.
- #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso. I’m not usually a fan of butt-kicking motivational business books but this was easy to read and unpretentious, although it did feel like a business book I’d recommend to a teenager.
- The State We’re In – Adele Parks. I’m not sure where I got this from but it was on my kindle and a very easy read. on an aeroplane.