Friday, March 22, 2013

The Laidback Opening

This week, I have been mostly reading Resistance, by Owen Sheers. But I don't want to talk about that because although it's written beautifully and is about if Germany had invaded Britain during World War II, it's actually bizarrely and mostly about sheep.

No really. I think the author made a mistake. He shouldn't have called it Resistance. He should have called it How Some Ewes Die Under Snow, because that's largely what I remember from the book. Which is not really a bad thing, although I'm probably making it sound bad. It's just not what I want to talk about. I'm tired of sheep, now. They're really daft and sad.

So instead I shall talk about the other book I finished reading this week. It's by this nobody called Jay Kay Rowland or summat, and it's about I dunno some laidback opening or whatever. Goodness knows how he's managed to sell so many copies, when it's about small petty matters in small town England. Is he famous for somethng else?

I bet he was on some reality show, wasn't he. I Bummed My Dog or something like that. Who Can Fart The National Anthem? maybe, or possibly Why Is My Ear Like This? Though in all honesty, I'd probably watch Why Is My Ear Like This? I bet it features people with perfectly normal hearing appendages crying over flaps of skin that are meant to be there.

Sounds marvellous.

But anyway, back to this Jake Ralling and his book about small town life, which I am going to discuss completely irrelevantly of anything he might have done on telly, or without reference to any other books he may or may not have written about boy wizards. In fact, I think it's important to not discuss the boy wizards at all, because many people seemed to get very confused about the fact that none were in this book, even though it very clearly says in the blurb that the presence of such in a deeply real small town rural setting would be absolutely insane.

I kind of wonder if people were hoping Parish Council is actually code for Witch's Coven. And if they were, they are massive fools.

But enough about fools and sudden inexplicable magic in a book that isn't about that. Onto what it very clearly is about: the petty evils that live in most people's hearts, excrutiatingly good character studies expertly crafted with an unflinching eye and a scathing pen, and moving themes about kindness and goodness and how they are what is important rather than being proud of your stupid little town and its trifling affairs.

It's a very good book. A book that hasn't been praised enough for its many, many unbelievable accomplishments, not least of which is this: JK Rowling wrote this after writing one of the most popular book series to ever exist. She wrote fearlessly, sharply, without worrying what people would think of its difference or how much they'd berate her for stupid things like "it has too many swears in it". And for that, I commend her with every power of commendation I have.

You were my heroine before, JK. You are still my heroine now.


  1. Charlotte, you are awesome and hilarious.

  2. You've got me interested:-) Are you sure there's no wizzards in it, though? Maybe hiding behind some bushes or flying overhead with some death eaters giving chase just off-screen?

  3. Amen, Charlotte. I bought the book on sale (hardcover) several weeks ago & couldn't put it down, even though it's a heavy doorstop.

  4. Hey Charlotte,

    Why is my ear like this?

    How laid back can you get?

    Wonderful post (and I loved your Goodreads review as well). Got to read this!

  5. Gotta say, Charlotte, not particularly a fan of HP, but this sounds different. What was super was this tongue-in cheek post! Had me cracking up over here.

    Be well
    Daddy X

  6. Another book to put on my to read list.

  7. Kathleen - woot!

    Giselle - no, you.

    Jessi - hee hee not even a snifter of one!

    Jean - it really made you greedy for more of their lives and their little eccentricities!

    Lisabet - thank you! Am determined to do more reviewing on Goodreads (tho prefer to stay away from my own genres). I used to love it, and still do it seems.

    Daddy X - Thanks!

    Laura - It's slow going at first, but once you get into it I think it's worth it.


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