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ReadySteadyBlog

One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Monday 05 December 2005

Ellis on Saturday

Ellis chooses his Christmas books. Here he is (not for the first time) on Ian McEwan's Saturday:


A scandal far greater than the Dreyfus case, a betrayal more historic than that of Judas – the failure of the Booker Prize judges to award the prize to what is quite simply the most outstanding novel of the decade was (and I do not say this lightly) the single most shocking and tragic event of 2005.

No one has ever captured the joy of Mercedes ownership quite so movingly before - or the Greek epic dimensions of a game of squash. No one understands the problems of the modern world more acutely than McEwan, or the sinister destructive forces that threaten a quiet Saturday – namely, the working class, many of whom are in the grip of an uncontrollable disease which makes them belligerent and violent; a ghastly rabble of selfish, stupid anti-war marchers; incomprehensible Muslims, some of whom are quite literally mad.

Ian McEwan brilliantly reminds us that there are small-minded people and fanatics everywhere, full of resentment toward those of us for whom the only word is civilised.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

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Serendipoetry

Omens, after Alexander Pushkin

I rode to meet you: dreams
like living beings swarmed around me
and the moon on my right side
followed me, burning.

I rode back: everything changed.
My soul in love was sad
and the moon on my left side
trailed me without hope.

To such endless impressions
we poets give ourselves absolutely,
making, in silence, omen of mere event,
until the world reflects the deepest needs of the soul.

-- Louise Gluck
Averno (Carcanet Press)

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Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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