Reading around

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwanLook, don’t tell Dickens, but I’ve been reading around.

It has been a short fling with Sweet Tooth; it started on Sunday and it will have run its course tonight. I’ve tried to prolong the pleasure, but the impulse to rush ahead is insistent, urgent. Ian McEwan knows what he is doing (what a pensman*), and it’s hard to resist when you’re guided by a sure and steady hand.

Despite the brevity of the affair, I’ve enjoyed it and will cherish certain passages, particular lines. I was distracted when a Cockney accent was improbably mistaken for a Cambridge one at a crucial point, but you have to let go, be in the moment, as McEwan’s Lucy might say.

I intended to stick with Dickens in his Bleak House, I really did. I’ll go back soon. He probably won’t have noticed that I strayed. He’s preoccupied, you know, standing on his soapbox, giving every straw man (or woman) a back story and a kick in the pants.

Ah, Sweet Tooth, I rushed in headlong like your reader, Serena, and it will be over all too soon.

I’ll go back to Bleak House. There’s Sinister Street, Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace, Edward Thomas’s Oxford, The Mystery of the Hansom Cab and so many others … but I must resist.

Forgive me, I am an unfaithful reader.

*Think of Max’s disparaging comment about Tom, if you’re familiar with Sweet Tooth.


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