Tag: <span>Sarah Hall</span>

The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall

I’ll happily admit that I bought this book on the strength of the cover (and the title) and I’ll also admit that I was happily surprised by this story. It tells the tale of Cy, a young lad from Morecambe who somehow ends up an apprentice to the town tattooist, and tracks his life through the deaths of his mother and his mentor, his life in Coney Island, his love of an eccentric beauty called Grace and the final circle of his days.

The personalities in the book are mostly larger than life but never seems so in the context of the novel, each one slotting into place and bringing insights when required. The story is more of how easily a life can slip by without noticing, and that despite the wonders around us we rarely seem to notice them until something extraordinary happens. It urges us to take a chance, act on desire and not to be haunted by the past. Simple enough psychology for sure but it aids the flow of the narrative well yet never descends to be yet another maudlin tale of a life wasted, instead you revel in the wonders around Cy, the very things he takes for granted.

There is one choice in this book that I’d question, Grace is a bit too enigmatic to really allow you to become attached to her but maybe that’s the point, her eccentricity keeping both reader and lead character at arms length.

I don’t think this will be for everyone, but don’t let the topics involved put you off. Ohh and if you have read Sarah Hall’s previous novel it’ll be a change from that (so don’t let that put you off either).

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You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be?
Not any of the ones that are incinerated. Simple really.

OHH not LITERALLY, but literaturally? (ohhh I just invented a word, ohh, no I didn’t). Anyway, I’d choose to be Mowgli in the Jungle Book. Why? Because of the songs of course (whaddya mean there are no songs in the book!!)

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
Possibly Smilla from Miss Smilla’s Sense of Snow, or Gill Templeton from the Rebus novels, but nothing significant as yet.

The last book you bought is?
The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall. Not read it, and only bought it as I’ve been thinking about getting another tattoo at some point. Never heard of it before either so very much an impulse buy. I have to admit that I do occasionally buy books “by the cover” and I’ve yet to be disappointed.

What are you currently reading?
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee. I normally have two or three books going at at time, but as I’m trying to actually FINISH some of the books I start I thought I’d stick with the tried and tested, one at a time method. It’s working so far.
I’m enjoying this book more than I thought I would if I’m honest, which is good because it was recommended by… er… dammit… memory like a … thingy… you know… fins… water…

Five books you would take to a deserted island
1. HitchHiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (a Trilogy in Four Five parts) – funny, makes you think, and would allow me to drift off into imaginary worlds.
2. How to get off a desert island.

Who are you going to pass this stick to (3 persons) and why?
No-one as a meme is a self-propagating unit of cultural evolution (and I’m lazy).


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