OK I am back.
Apart from all the usual rants and diversions I hope to each week do a book of, a cd of, and a dvd of, the week. So let’s start with the book.
I’ve always been an adventurous reader but i am coming more and more to appreciate the non-experimental novel well done. I’m all for pushing the boundaries but when I look back on the novels that have made the most impact on me, the ones that are most re-readable, they might be astonishing in their depth and yet conservative in style. Case in point: Submergence by J.M.Lefgard.
Crappy cover but one of the best books I have read in the last year (others being Son, Lowlands, Come Barbarians and Constellation of Vital Phenomena). None of those are odd in any way but all are brilliant.
Ledgard’s 2nd novel has its main character, a British agent held in captivity by Al Quada in Somalia who believe him to be a British agent. His method of coping with his privation is to remember his life before which includes his relationship with an oceanographer. The novel is smart the way Harper’s Magazine is smart – throwing out all sorts of intriguing bits of information about this remarkable world but in particular about life in the deep ocean. This forms a nice contrast with the desert interment of our spy.
Its one of those small press books with little hoopla but garnering more critical praise than most.