Friday, 22 October 2010
Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America (2010)
One thing my secondary school English teacher, Mr Meteyard, hammered into all of us was: do not describe a book as boring. To call Othello 'boring', and especially to call it 'bo-o-o-oring', says nothing about Shakespeare's play and everything about you. I've stuck dutifully to that cornerstone of critical analysis in the many decades since, and it has served me well. But I'm about to violate it.
Carey's new novel is boring. To be clear: it's not boring in a 'too little going on' way; it's boring in a 'too much going on' way. I was bored.
Better than Finkler, even so? Yes.