Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Two first novels

A rainy lunchtime, and a misbehaving stomach unable to face the delights of anything more substantial than a cappacino and some maltesers made the lure of the Oxfam bookshop on Turl street irresistible. I've been buying a fair few books from Amazon recently, but nothing beats a good browse in a bookshop. However, I nearly ended up buying Elizabeth Bowen's Death of a Heart, before remembering that I have ordered a copy online - oops!
Anyway, I didn't come away empty-handed :-s I bought two first novels. I'd started off looking at Margaret Drabble, and they had the Radiant Way, which I'd already read and didn't particularly enjoy, one of its sequels, which I wasn't terribly interested in, and a Summer Bird Cage. This is her first book, about a pair of sisters, and it looks interesting. I'll be interested to see whether it is as good as the Waterfall or as less good as the Radiant Way.
Then I found a lovely old Penguin edition of Malcolm Bradbury's Eating People is wrong. Funky title. It's another campus novel, like his more famous The history man. I remember reading the latter on the recommendation of my tutor in about 2004/5; I can't actually remember whether or not I particularly enjoyed it, but I do like campus novels, and having exhausted David Lodge, I'll give this a go in due course. Bradbury writes a lot of academic books on literature etc so I suspect that his novels are heavily drawn from experience - I just looked on Amazon, and he seems to have written less fiction than other books. This might also be one to lend to my boyfriend (well, it's written by a man, which is a good start!).

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