Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Two books to avoid.

There are so many books to read that I find it welcome when somebody says not to bother. So here are two not worth bothering with.

The first is Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. This is a classic which introduced us to the Pooters, the clumsy, social climbing misfits. I suppose the adjective to describe it is 'whimsical'. It is the forerunner to the theater of embarrassment as exemptified by Ricky Gervais (whom I can't find funny). I get the joke, of course, but then it is repeated ad infinitum. I couldn't finish the book.

The second is also full of whimsy. It is The Golden Child by Penelope Fitzgerald, who was later to win the Booker Prize. This is a dreadful novel. It ends up as a sort of detective story, but a very poor one. The characters are unreal and uninteresting, and very poorly drawn. The plot is fantastic and unbelievable. The writing is second-rate. I'm sorry that I wasted my time reading it.

In PG Wodehouse I can take whimsy, but I ration my reading of him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, too, do not like Mr. Gervais. I find him very off-putting. His movie Ghost Town was terrible.

I'd also say that Wodehouse is in a much better class than the writers you describe.

The BBC series Wooster and Jeeves (based on Wodehouse) with Stephen Fry and a pre-'House' Hugh Laurie are just the funniest stuff around. Laurie was particularly fantastic as Wooster.