What If I Had Never Tried It - Valentino Rossi
Daughter of Regals - Stephen R. Donaldson
The Birthday Boys - Beryl Bainbridge
The Balloon Buster - Norman Hall
Then We Came to the End - Joshua Ferris
Films seen at the cinema:
Bolt, Bromley Empire
Arlo Guthrie, 100 Club
Tom Paxton, Cadogan Hall
Book of the month is Then We Came To The End. I had my doubts about it, because there was a Richard & Judy's Book Club sticker on the cover and surely no novel about office life could be as funny and touching as Douglas Coupland's Microserfs, but it won me over from the first page. Full of universal workplace truths and the minutiae of office life: the guy who always says something inappropriate, the accidental Reply Alls, the stealing of each other's chairs.
Rossi's (ghostwritten) autobiography and the biography of balloon-buster Frank Luke both set out to eulogise while actually giving the impression that the subject is a right bastard.
Daughter of Regals is good old-fashioned sci-fi-fantasy. I preferred the stories set in the modern world, as the more fantastic tales are narrated in the prithee-sirrah style that's out of favour these days. Some nice concepts, including one that reminded me strongly of Quantum Leap.
I can remember my mum getting The Birthday Boys out of the library - probably fifteen years ago or more. I've been meaning to read it ever since and finally got round to it last month. Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition from the viewpoints of some of the men involved; movingly and imaginatively done, and the linking theme of birthdays was a neat device.