Thursday, 26 June 2008

I ♥ Jonathan Raban


"She liked to read reviews of plays she'd never see, recitals she'd never hear, art exhibits she'd never get the chance to visit. Lucy was no vicarious culture vulture: it was the language of the reviews themselves that she treasured. After the front-page headlines, body-counts, senatorial brawls, violent single-sentence-paragraph Op-Eds, it was good to loiter in a world where words like 'subtlety' and 'restraint' were invariably terms of praise. So, sipping wine, she read of 'the innate good taste and nuanced phrasing that informs Mr Thomas's spectacular, crystal-clear performance' in a dance concert at NYU. A pity, Lucy thought, that Mr Thomas was unlikely ever to run for president."

From Surveillance by Jonathan Raban, one of my very favourite writers - a novel with big themes that is also fantastic on the small stuff.

4 comments:

Planethalder said...

This quote alone made me order a copy on Amazon. Thanks for the heads up. I've read a few Rabans so I know I am in for a treat (I'll try and slot in reading between baby feeds!).

Jean said...

Great! But, it's not one for when Baby Planet has been miserable and you feel stretched to the limit, okay?... His take on daily detail and people's quirks always makes me smile, but the overall message is not a comforting one.

Lucy said...

'Coasting' was a kind of family touchstone for me and my siblings; we all read it and referred to it for a while. I've not read any others, perhaps I will.

Fiona Robyn said...

I love him too!