I’ll be honest, I chose this book almost entirely because of the author’s interview in the June issue of Quill & Quire. There were a couple of things in that piece that intrigued me: that the published book is more or less the same text that author Schofield delivered to Dan Wells at Biblioasis, her publisher; and the quote from John Metcalf, fiction editor of Biblioasis: “I read the first two pages and I thought, ‘This is a book we have to do.’ It was very well written, wildly funny, and strange.” I’m pleased to report that I agree with him. The voice of the narrator/hero of the book is delicious and quirky. It’s a delight. It took Schofield ten years to write, but who am I to carp about a glacial pace of productivity in the book-writing department?
I’ve paired Malarky (a novel) with Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace (a biography, of sorts), this month because 1) I’m reading both at the same time at the moment and 2) they are both about women of a certain age who are dabbling with extra-marital affairs. I didn’t arrange it that way, it just happened. I’d seen Mrs. Robinson reviewed on the Publishers Weekly site, and when I was picking up Malarky it just happened to be sitting on the display next to the cash till. I’d like to say I’m enjoying it as much, but I can’t. I’m finding it, truth be told, a little dull. It’s not the lack of prurient detail, it’s that really the only way into Mrs. Robinson’s mind and character is through her diary, and it’s an extremely flawed mediator.
Malarky published by: Biblioasis
Mrs. Robinson’s Disgrace published by: Bloomsbury
Both books bought at: Nicholas Hoare.
A note on Book of The Month. New Year resolution: Buy one book a month at full price, from a local independent bookstore (for me, local means I can walk there). Let it be fiction, and by an author whose work I’ve never read before. Thanks to Red Sofa Literary for the idea.