Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The Lesser Bohemians

Surprisingly, after the first few pages I didn't feel the need to try and parse this book.  The language is a medley of cliche and very short metaphor.  It was bewildering, but after a while the words just flowed (just needed to change my mind set, and when I did it was magic, like I had learned a new, lyrical language).   Of course, it doesn't hurt to have some Joyce and Beckett under your belt before you begin, and urbandictionary.com handy  to help with some of the vernacular.

“Daub my soul with a good few pints til my mouth swings wide with unutterable shite. Laughing lots too, like it’s true. Worldening maybe, I think. I hope.” 

The Lesser Bohemians is the first of it's kind that I have ever read, and I was enraptured with the brilliance of this novel, it's bare and vulnerable style of storytelling (that wielded a powerful wallop that just stays with you).    It wasn't for the faint at heart.

There was lots to wince at, loads of sex, minute details I could really have done without, but like with What Belongs To You, there is a purpose to it.  I really didn't want to like or care about these characters (who I will call the lovers), but I just couldn't help be pulled in to their story, raw and brutal as it was.  Two stories pulled together into a very rocky intimacy as the lovers find their way (kicking and screaming most of the time) towards something that unites them.  As Michael Chabon put it;

"Beautiful, harrowing, and ultimately rewarding the way only a brilliant work of literature can be."

This is a book that I would really like to listen to.  Actually I would be really keen to see it as a performance piece, get a young Irish woman (just like in the book) reading it aloud... now that would be absolutely enthralling!

Up Next:  The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan  (about horse racing UGH, not my favourite topic AT ALL).

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