Friday, November 7, 2008

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

I finished reading this book on the 'plane on the way to New Zealand.  I've been thinking about it on and off ever since.  I think that this is the first book I've blogged about and upon which I have had such difficulty knowing what to say.  

I'm not well enough read to comment on the style of writing but I have never come across a similar one.  It seemed to me that the storyline was almost irrelevant.  I think that the point must be in the detail rather than the general. The prose was, I thought, beautifully poetic and painted a picture that even my unimaginative mind could appreciate. However I usually read a book in very small tranches and my inability to conceptualise sometimes made it difficult to re-locate myself into the geographical setting.   But that's probably just me.

I'm not even sure that I actually enjoyed it.  But it certainly made me think.  Perhaps that is what I got out of this book.  Has any other reader of this blog read it?  

If you listen you can hear it.
The city, it sings.
It's a wordless song, for the most, but it's a song all the same, and nobody hearing it could doubt what it sings.  And the song sings the loudest when you pick out each note.

...I don't understand how we can be so busy and then have nothing to say to each other.

I look at my room, at the table with the flowers and the pot of tea, the two cups, I think how nice two cups on a table can look.

He says, if nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?


  1. I must have read this just before I started my book blog because I see that it isn't on the blog. I thoroughly enjoyed it but, like you, would be hard put to describe it. I thought some of tghe imagery captured people's feelings exceptionally well. I would certainly recommend it.

  2. Yes, it was remarkable. Not for the narrative - but for its 'poetry'. I'd recommend you read 'Gilead' by Marilynne Robinson. I feel evangelical about this book - which is almost fitting given the vocation of the principal character. It is a quiet read. A book ostensibly about death - but, actually, about living and life filtered through the eyes of a dying father. It gently feels its way into your heart. And - for me at least - was properly educational, opening my eyes to some profound truths.

    I've enjoyed stumbling upon your blog. But blogging is new to me - so please accept my apologies if I breach some blogging etiquette by commenting like this! Regards, Y.