Here’s what I read in September:
- The Pythons’ Autobiography By The Pythons, Monty Python and Bob McCabe – pulled together by McCabe with care and loving attention to detail. Wonderful to see the personalities revealed via the history, the disagreements and differing perspectives. A rare thing: a top notch autobiography.
- The Other Hand, Chris Cleave – the first book I’ve read for a while which I didn’t want to put down. I was instantly hooked (although not, I should mention, but the rather vomitous introduction by the editor) and wanted to eat it all in one go. I then lent it to my wife, who also, one she’d started, read it one day and had to finish it before she went to sleep. ‘Page turner’ isn’t the right term for it, but it begs to be finished and the characters are fascinating, three-dimensional and ambiguous as they get.
- Incendiary, Chris Cleave – While it doesn’t quite match The Other Hand, it’s still an intriguing read which makes some interesting (if sometimes blunt) political points. Not quite a post-9/11 Nineteen Eighty-Four, but worth picking up. I will be keeping an eye out for more stuff by Cleave. I hope he gets some film deals too.
- Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell – Meh. As always with Gladwell, there are a few central point here which can be made quickly, but he manages to labour them into pages of anecdote strews essays without the sense of any real underlying purpose. The essays that are interesting enough, but fail to really make you care. A bit better than Blink. (How’s that for faint praise?)
- If it Bleeds, Duncan Campbell – Double meh. Laboured in so many ways. If you like good crime fiction you’ll probably want to avoid it. I wondered, more than once, how many times Campbell was going to use the is-that-my-heart-oh-no-it’s-just-my-mobile-phone-going-off thing.
- Catch-22, Joseph Heller – Yay, yay and twice yay. I’d forgotten how good Heller is, at his best. This is it.