I’m adding Iain Banks to a new list, one I’ve stayed true to for years now, of writers whose work I parse out slowly, dreading the day there’s no more, though the dread is unnecessary; I can simply start again when I reach the end. Nabokov is there, and Anita Brookner. J.M. Coetzee. Junichiro Tanizaki. Something tells me Banks will fit, that his work will add a missing element, something hard to define but, once it’s familiar, also hard to do without.
John McIntyre, ”Losing Iain Banks”
Recommended: Ellah Alfrey on selecting Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists.
Others may prefer to will themselves into James Bond’s dinner jacket and Aston Martin DB4, but I’d rather slip into a !Kung hunter’s penis sheath and heft his hunting spear.
At The Guardian, Will Self explores his odd preference for deeply uncomfortable comfort reading.
Intelligence work sounds a little bit like writing novels, and McEwan proves that he’s sufficiently deft at the latter to navigate the grey space between fact and fiction without getting lost in it. In the end, Sweet Tooth is successful enough as a work of well constructed, brilliantly rendered fiction for Serena’s voice to work within the larger whole. The author remains so removed from his fiction that, once you understand what he’s up to, you have to strain to see him pulling the strings of the narrative.