So this week has been…a lot.
In case anyone’s stumbling across this and doesn’t know who the hell I am, I’m in the UK, where the advice about the pandemic is currently ???!!!
Coincidentally, I realised last weekend that I was definitely coming down with something, which has turned out (so far) to be a relatively mild head cold. It’s hard to know what to do about that when the advice is ???!!! but I reasoned that if I would stay away from my parents – who are both in treatment for cancer, so do not need to get any of my bugs, even if it’s ‘just’ a cold – then I should probably try to stay away from everyone right now. So I’ve been at home for most of this week.
And you’d think that would mean a week of catching up on boxsets, and reading, and snuggling up to watch films in the evenings. But mostly I have just…not been able to do anything. I dunno about the rest of you, but the Shakespeare-wrote-King-Lear-in-quarantine meme has been making me laugh the most, because it just seems ridiculous to expect anything coherent of ourselves when there is nothing coherent happening out there in the world.
So I have basically nothing to offer you this week except…
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
What?: An account of the messy rise and even messier fall of a 1970s rock band
When I was reading the reviews, it was difficult to tell whether this book was fiction or non fiction, which is a kind of delicious start, I think. Some of the reviewers really didn’t get along with it at all – there’s a bit of a Marmite response on Goodreads. I’m usually quite a low rater on there. I gave this one five stars.
Mostly the problem people seem to have is that the style of the book – written through interviews, like the transcript of a documentary – leaves them unable to really get a grip on the characters. But since I’m obviously used to reading and writing scripts, I found the style made the experience much more vivid and fun for me. And I think Jenkins Reid is really clever with the format. It’s not just a gimmick or a shortcut, it offers really interesting insights into the fallibility of memory, and how different people perceive different events. Plus there are a couple of gut-punches in there that only really land because of what the transcript leaves out, things you don’t notice until it’s painfully obvious why they’re missing.
The reason it got five stars from me is because it made me cry over my morning cereal, which I wasn’t expecting at all. Who knows if it still would’ve had that effect if everything else was a little less stressful, but it did, and I was thankful for the oasis of this book in the desert of this week.