There’s an odd similarity between the two books I’m involved with at the moment. There’s the one I am reading, called Refusal of Silence, which is actually by somebody I know, and I Love Manchester United, which is being translated from Farsi by my friend Bubu, and I’m doing the proofreading and editing.
Both of them are really hard to understand. I’m about 2/3rds of the way through Refusal, and after a couple of chapters I was ready to put it down but I didn’t. I paid for it, it’s downloaded, and by golly, I’m going to finish it. Actually, it makes a bit more sense now that I’m into it, although I’m not sure if it takes place in a dream, or if he’s supposed to be in some version of the afterlife, or just the future. It’s got some moments of great brilliance and philosophical insight – there will be no art in heaven – but it’s still really hard to follow.
As is Manchester. The action never follows more than one character for more than a chapter or two. There are lots of conversations with and between ghosts, and a few passages are told from the point of view of inanimate objects – a communist placard with a picture of Stalin, the eye of a statue which has been knocked loose…stuff like that.
Manchester is far the bloodier of the two, although both have people dying randomly, and continuing to have conversations after they are dead.
I suppose it’s a good thing. Not all writing needs to be straightforward, not every book needs to be easy to understand. But I am worn out, and it’s time for sleep.
I’ll get plenty of death and insanity on the weekend.