Sunday, 8 February 2015

Instagram #31:

Well, I kind of thought that the end of January would be a pretty quiet time for me work-wise and I'd be twiddling my thumbs. It turns out that I'm busier than ever, hence the pathetically low number of Instagram photos I managed to take all month...

1. My tired face when I was drinking an airport coffee after getting up at 4am for my very first business trip.
2. A keep-sake from a 'Polaroid party' club night - in my head the pose made me look a lot cooler and a lot less chubby.
3. This is Guillame, a resident of Edinburgh's new cat cafĂ© Maison de Moggy. I was allowed to film there for WOW247 just after it opened and you can watch the resulting video below! Best two hours of work ever.

4. A hilariously poorly taken panorama of the brilliant Supermoon playing at Henry's Cellar Bar.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Inferior Book Group #11:

Hello book friends and fiends! You may (quite understandably) assume that it took me nearly three whole months to read The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster. Actually, I just completely failed at reading anything at all during most of November and December. When I finally got around to properly giving The New York Trilogy a go I was - to be completely honest - kind of dreading it. Because The New York Trilogy was critically acclaimed and a university course text I fully expected it to be a really difficult read, but it's actually one the most artfully written books I've read in a long time.

As I mentioned in my last Inferior Book Group post, this is a book I was assigned to read for a module on detective fiction during my final year of uni in Dundee. Don't tell my tutors, but I didn't read all of the books we were meant to read, and this was one of them. That being said, after uni was over and I sold a lot of my course texts, I still held onto my copy of The New York Trilogy because I had a feeling it would (eventually) be a story worth my time - and I'm pleased to say I was right.

The New York Trilogy is a series of of three novellas written between 1985 and 1986 that are now published together in one volume. The stories - City of GlassGhosts and The Locked Room - are very, very loosely linked in that you'll notice recurring character names and repeated themes, but otherwise they all stand alone.

Source: here

Without going into spoiler territory, each of the three tales is a pseudo-detective story which explores the fine line between an author and their characters. To make things even more confusing, Paul Auster even puts himself (or someone named after himself, who also happens to be a writer) into City of Glass as a peripheral character. And that odd turn of events really sets the mood for the whole trilogy.

In each novella Auster weaves an impressively perplexing mystery which I fully expected to be neatly explained by the final page. Maybe writing this is giving too much away, but nothing is explained. Nothing. Normally I would expect to get very frustrated with such a baffling book, but I couldn't fault Auster's writing style and after a certain point I couldn't put the book down.

In my opinion, to be able to write such a confusing yet compelling collection of stories - each one stranger, yet more interesting than the last - is a truly impressive achievement. The New York Trilogy doesn't feel dated or aged at all (to be honest, I didn't even realise it was written in the '80s until I had finished reading) and that's another indicator of the author's skill.

I would definitely read more of Paul Auster's work, and highly recommend The New York Trilogy to anyone - but prepare to be simultaneously fascinated and frustrated by these deliciously abstract stories.

During February I'll be reading the hilarious and totally inspiring Tina Fey's autobiography Bossypants. I get the feeling I'll whizz through this one, as her writing style is brilliantly funny and so easy to read.

Read October's review here: Orange is the New Black