Never Mind

UnknownWell, I thought this book was a waste of paper. It opened with a description of a despicable character, and I was inclined to interpret this as a sign of the author’s literary prowess – he must be quite confident in his abilities if he’s throwing such an off-putting introduction at us readers – until the book finished flatly after a procession of irritating characters without much of a closure in the plot. There was only a vague implication that everyone resigned to their fate…

What the author attempts is a criticism of British upper class life, because the main characters are desperate snobs and the only sensible person is American. But there’s no humour, which makes the plot unbearable really. Nothing  justifies the revolting turn of the plot mid-book as it leads nowhere, at least within the confines of this text. (A review I read establishes that it’s based on his own experience, and I’m sorry for that, but in my opinion there are better ways of incorporating an experience like this into a literary narrative.) This is the first book of a sequel, which partly explains why there’s no denouement and it’s priced £7.99 although it’s only 197 pages with quite a liberal typesetting – I read it in two sittings. I only finished it because I’d left my previous book half-finished, as the scenes of military invasion and animal torture made me depressed. But this one did nothing to lift my spirits either, and on top of that, I got angry. I now started Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, where the main characters are naïvely optimistic. That’s much better.



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