Exhibit 1.1.26

House (Boat) Party

I’m a bit in trouble on this book because I read it a couple of weeks back, couldn’t think of a take on it at the time, and now feel like I should say something. Um, it won the Booker? That’s worth something isn’t it?

[Goes and checks to see if David Mitchell has won one, sees that he hasn’t, decides it’s worth nothing]

So, yep, people living in boats along the Thames, somewhat focused around a young Canadian mother and her two daughters, one a moody pre-teen, one adopted from St. Julian’s School for Precocious Tots. In fact, I’m not entirely sure this entire book wasn’t written in anticipation of movie version to launch the career of a not-yet-conceived Dakota Fanning. She’s smart like an adult but whimsical like a child! Her idiosyncrasies are adorable! Just imagine a six-year old jumping rope in a dress and rain boots making intelligent observations about humanity and you’ve got a pretty good idea.

Anyway, there’s something great about the carefree wandering of the omniscient narration and the characters aren’t completely without interest. And I suppose living on a boat in the 60s must have been more scandalous than I’m giving it credit for, but I can’t help but compare this book to Drabble’s which had a lot more to say about the age, class, and country.

Maybe this is the way to put it: a lot of the novels I’ve read recently have been short but this is the only one that felt slight.

Comment / Posted in Books, Fiction, Rivers

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