Ok this could be a post about one of my heros and his particular poetic, and scientifically sound view on the universe, but sadly I am no astrophysicist and any comment I could make would only be assanine and therefore trite – not that I don’t ever give it a bash, just not right here right now.
My portal to another dimension is books. But this isn’t another post about the benefits of books. I just wanted in a rather self serving way, to talk about a couple of my favourite authors. I read a lot. I’ve read about 30 books so far this year, and I’m studying!
Firstly, Scarlett Thomas:
Alice Butler has been receiving some odd messages – all anonymous, all written in code. Are they from someone at PopCo, the profit-hungry corporation she works for? Or from Alice’s long lost father? Or has someone else been on her trail? The solution, she is sure, will involve the code-breaking skills she learned from her grandparents and the key she’s been wearing round her neck since she was ten. “PopCo” is a grown-up adventure of family secrets, puzzles, big business and the power of numbers.
I would say that if you like maths and puzzles this is a great book for you, and if you didn’t know you liked those things, you will discover that you do. As ever, Thomas uses her academic skills to take her story to another level – the book is about code breaking and corporate politics, about discovery and solving puzzles.
Eric Sanderson wakes up in a place he doesn’t recognise, unable to remember who he is. Attacked by a force he cannot see and confronted with memories he cannot ignore, Eric discovers he is being hunted by a psychic predator, a shark. This creature may exist only in his mind, but it soon starts making some very real appearances in his world. Loaded with letters from his past self, each signed ‘With regret and also hope, The First Eric Sanderson’, Eric embarks on a quest to recover his life. A love story; an adventure; a psychological drama – this wild, touching, modern tale is cut through with an understated humour and warmth. The depths of love, language, memory and the inevitability of loss have never been plumbed with such deep-hearted imagination. It isn’t all coming back to me. I don’t know any of this at all. I felt that pricking horror, the one that comes when you realise the extent of something bad – if you’re dangerously lost or you’ve made some terrible mistake – the reality of the situation creeping in through the back of your head like some pantomime Dracula. I did not know who I was. I did not know where I was. That simple. That frightening.
Actually this book is about a lot of things, decision, indecision, fear, loneliness, imagination and grief. A journey of angst illustrated in Halls particular way.