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Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

I haven’t ever thought about writing on a banknote (I never have one long enough to do anything other than hand them over) — though, now that I have thought about it, it seems a bit of a wasted opportunity not to add a bit of artwork or some commentary. Of course, like practically everything these days, it is probably illegal.

 Anyway, I’ve just been over at de-noted — a site devoted to the ‘adornment’ of banknotes — where the image pictured above has prompted a bit of a debate in the comments section on whether The Catcher in the Rye was a good book. One commentator referred to Holden Caulfield as a ‘pathetic emo kid’ and there seems to be a fair division between people who really loved the book and those who hated it, mainly because they despised the character of Caulfield (whiney, self-obsessed, spoiled little rich-kid, etc). I loved the book and actually quite liked old Caulfield (as he might have said).

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I’ve just read that Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence is the bookie’s favourite to win the Man Booker prize this year. Strewth, hasn’t the old boy won enough prizes already, especially Booker-related ones? I think there should be some sort of rule, banning him for a good few years, at least. I’ve never seen what the big deal about Rushdie is — I find him unreadable but occasionally useful when it my insomnia gets totally out of control.

Personally, I want Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland  to win. I’ve just finished it and don’t care that it’s supposedly over-hyped and that there’s little real ‘action’ — I really loved it and it’s now up there with my favourite ever books. The protagonist’s wife is a bit of a pain in the arse, though, and I dislike the American cover (that’s the British one above) — but O’Neill’s writing style is marvelous. I haven’t read Steve Toltz’s A Fraction of the Whole yet but I like the sound of it. Anyone but Rushdie.

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