I’ve been meaning to post about this for over a month now (someday I may write something on procrastination). It’s almost midnight and I’ve a feeling that I’m about to suffer with insomnia for the third night in a row, so I figured I’d get up and write about it now.
I finally got one of my all-time favourite (if not ‘the’ all-time favourite) books back. I’d lent it to a friend more than two years ago (yes, that’s right mister- if you ever read this- two years!). Having given up on ever seeing it again, and thinking about it recently I decided to give amazon a go. It’s out of print, but I was pretty sure I could find a second-hand copy on amazon, which I did. An amazingly pristine copy, mind you. The seller promised a paperback in good condition with no creasing of the the spine, and that’s what I got.
While pretty sure if I made myself annoying enough my friend would’ve given my original copy back, I was just as sure I’d get it quicker from amazon. I got my new copy, which was in better condition than my original, within about three days!
So, the book that caused the fuss is:
Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey (there’s a movie which is also known as Never Give an Inch with Henry Fonda and Paul Newman. I haven’t seen it)
I began re-reading it as soon as it arrives. The book absorbs me. It focuses a logging family, the Stampers, living on the coast of Oregon during the 60s. While set mainly during one period of time, it does cover the family history over a few generations.
What I find most fascinating about the book, however, is the narrative. The point of view jumps from character to character, from first person to third person (and sometimes to a completely different character, not in that scene). This can happen all in one paragraph, or even mid sentence.
Makes it sound complicated, but you’d be amazed at how well the story just flows.
It’s not like you’re reading it at all. It’s more like someone is telling you a story. You almost expect you can close your eyes and the story will just go on.
One day I hope to see the movie to see how this aspect of Kesey’s story-telling was handled.