That happened to me recently. She went on and on about this Irish author William Trevor. Now I'll be honest I'd never heard of him. I've tried to read James Joyce, love Edna O'Brien and Seamus Heaney's Beowulf is a favourite of mine but Trevor? No. Not read a thing. She was kind enough to pass on a book of all his short stories, plus some novels 'Fool of Fortune' 'The Children of Dynmouth' 'The Silence in the Garden' and 'Mrs Eckdorf in O'Neills Hotel' and I set out to read them.
Now here's the confession. I couldn't finish any of them. I was bored rigid. Now the illustrious Graham Greene said Fool of Fortune was a very fine novel. The Washington Post called it 'arresting, powerful and indelible.' The New York Times said it was the author at his best. Oh dear. I hate it when you read reviews like that and you can't evn remotely begin to share the view. Makes you feel at first that maybe you missed something somewhere.
He writes what is called 'mannered fiction'-well so did Jane Austen only hers is witty. I couldn't get to care about the characters or what happened to them. Apparently the reader is supposed to observe human behaviour from the outside but I really didn't want to waste my time doing that on his characters.
No ones taste is the same but my friend was disappointed I didn't share her enthusiasm. I was disappointed too as I couldn't even begin to 'get' where that enthusiasm stemmed from.
Ah well...in the charity bag they go unless anyone desperately wants them.