Wednesday, December 19, 2001
I very rarely give up on a book half way through – I’m the only person I know who has not only started but finished reading “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” – but Arundhati Roy has beaten me with her Booker-winning “The God of Small Things”. I started this slim volume last week – incidentally Kathmandu was surprisingly good for bookshops – but after only 3 chapters or so she had me beaten. “If I have to read about one more bodily fluid,” I thought, “One more glob of splittle or phlegm, one more pool of urine or patch of sweat, one more handful of semen, it’s goodbye from me.” I didn’t have long to wait, just half a page further on Ms Roy duly obliged with another routine expression of her disgust with the whole business of being alive. So I put the thing away – for good – and started on something much more life-affirming and optimistic – John Keegan’s history of the First World War!