So what’s everyone reading at the moment?
I am currently reading “The Collector” by John Fowles, after finishing “The French Lieutenant’s Woman” by the same author last week.
“The French Lieutenant’s Woman”explores the position of women in Victorian society through Sarah Woodruff, who was “ruined” by her affair with the French Lieutenant of the title. The writing style in it is very unusual - it has an omniscient, modern narrator who, though narrating a Victorian novel, references more modern concepts and history (he says that one of the characters has interview techniques that remind him of the Gestapo, for example). It also has three “alternate endings”, which is slightly confusing, but is a fascinating idea.
It also contains a sex scene that Fowles states as being 90 seconds long. Which thoroughly amused me.
“The Collector” is a far darker novel about a man who abducts the woman he has been stalking, in order that she should get to know him and fall in love with him. While she lives in his cellar. The style is far different - the abductor narrates it, for a start, which certainly makes it an uncomfortable read, as the reader is inclined to sympathise with him, even though he is clearly in the wrong. It also has clear echoes of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” - the woman abducted is called Miranda, and she refers to the narrator as her “Caliban”. Though I haven’t read a lot of it yet, I can tell it’s going to be a “put-in-pride-of-place-on-the-bookshelf” sort of book.
So what are you all reading? Feel free to drop off some reviews either in the ask or in the submissions page, book recommendations are always welcome.