Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Books You Should Read Part III

While I'm on a recommendation roll, get your hands on a copy of Helen Garner's Monkey Grip.

I'm too lazy to write my own synopsis so I'm borrowing one from Borders -
"In this acclaimed first novel, Helen Garner captures the fluid relationships of a community of friends who are living and loving in new ways. Nora falls in love with Javo the junkie, and together they try to make sense of their lives and the choices they have made. But caught in an increasingly ambiguous relationship, they are unable to let go - and the harder they pull away from each other, the tighter the monkey grip."

Okay, so I can be a bit of a straight-180 and may have even been called a prude in my time, but I loved this book. When a friend lent it to me I thought a book about junkies wouldn't be of interest - too heavy and just too much work.

But this book is such an easy read, and not in the sense that it's dumbed down or basic, but that it is written so fluidly that you can't help but get caught up in it.

There are so many names, people and places that you really can't keep up and that's largely the point. You're supposed to feel a little lost and confused and vague, because (without sounding ridiculously corny and English teacher-y) Nora is all of those things.

For content that could be made to feel really gritty, it doesn't. It isn't exactly beautiful either, rather it's simple and real. And I know for a fact that it's on the Penguin $10 list - so no excuses!

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