It’s time I tidied the books on my bedside table: two are giving me nightmares.
They’re fine novels, I’m sure, it’s just that I can’t read them right through. Here’s why: Less has too little sex and Atomised too much.
Like all earnest readers, I’m haunted by the ghosts of books half-read.
I can’t finish Catch-22 because the story changes; Inside Mr Enderby because it stays the same, funny but futile.
The Hobbit hobbled me a few pages in.
Of Tug of Love I’ve read only the title, while just one chapter of Eleanor Oliphant was completely fine.
I conquered War and Peace but that other Russian behemoth, Life and Fate, has got me beat.
Clearly it’s time I exorcised my literary demons. If reading is a kind of rewriting then my versions of some books are simply shorter than the rest.
Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Inside Mr Enderby by Anthony Burgess
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Tug of Love by Penny Jordan
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman