Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thoughts at the half way point of The Canal

I should really be doing reviews but conscious that my reading almost slipped last month trying instead to get a few books under the belt. Aim to get a Freedom review up tomorrow. But in the meantime the halfway point has been reached on Lee Rourke's Canal.

Having waited ages to read this it suddenly feels very topical having come joint top in the Guardian's Not the Booker Award.

At the risk of trying to summarize something not yet read completely this does seem to be our own homegrown response to the war on terror. A man who is bored throws in his job and spends everyday sitting on the same bench on the banks of a canal in North London.

That sounds like a difficult setting to maintain a 200 page story but soon the man is joined by a mysterious woman who is attracted by suicide bombers, beaten up and menaced by a local gang of youths and drawn into watching the day to day activities of a man working in the office opposite.

Passages about terrorism, bombing, suicide and the twin towers are interspersed with views on boredom and on the futility of modern life.

"But wouldn't it be nice for us to just get away from here? And do something else for change? Do something other than sit here all day long?"
"There's no need to do anything else."


Enjoying it so far and will post a review on completion...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there. You might be interested in this--

http://quarterlyconversation.com/the-canal-by-lee-rourke

--a review I did of the novel that went up a few days ago.

regards,
Jeff