September 6th, 2012

Wedding Preparations

Our niece is getting married tomorrow. It's a DIY affair- with marquees in the back garden. We're going over to the house this afternoon to make sandwiches. Carl has been engaged to make the video. He has two cameras and wants me to operate one of them. I was talking to Mohammed Asif the other day and he said he attends family weddings at the rate of about one a week. For us this is the second of the year. 

The Thousand Autumns Of Jacob De Zoet: David Mitchell

David Mitchell's earlier novels are great fun but they do rather leave you wondering who Mitchell is when he's at home. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet answers that question, I think. There's still plenty of messing about with genres- here's Kurosawa, there's Lafcadio Hearn; here's a bit of Dungeons and Dragons and- look- it's Stevenson, Forester, O'Brian and Golding being all salty together on the poop deck- but now the over-riding impression is of the strength- and individuality- of the controlling hand. This isn't just a master of pastiche, this is someone with something of his own to say and a style of his own to say it in. Mitchell's signature work is Cloud Atlas- and probably always will be because it's just so clever- but this is the first book of his artistic maturity.