Six weeks into Lockdown, I’ve reached the point where my daily walks make me understand how the animals felt as they paced their territory on the Mappin Terraces in the London Zoo at Regent’s Park, The visitors don’t see a cage but the animals know that they’re not free.
Saki, an Edwardian satarist who I admire, wrote a story about the cages we live in and choose not to see called “The Mappined Life”.
Like most of his work, it’s very short but very memorable. You can find the story HERE
So I’m coping with my Mappined Life by making my escape into books that take me far away from here.
I’m partway through the first two books, ‘One Word Kill’ and ‘City Of Windows’. The audiobook version of ‘The Glass Hotel’ was released yesterday and I’m keen to get to it.
Set in England in 1986 ‘One Word Kill’ Mark Lawrence’s new YA book, the start of a new series, tells the story of a D&D playing, teenage boy, dying of cancer, who gets the chance to save the first girl he’s ever gotten to talk to like she’s a real person.
It’s not a cosy book – too much clear thinking and physical pain and too many encounters with nasty people for that – but it’s a hopeful book, as long as you believe in the power of imagination and advanced mathematics.
Robert Pobi’s thriller, ‘City Of Windows’ is also that start of a new series. Set in modern-day Manhattan, it tells the story of a hunt to find a sniper who is killing law enforcement officers. The shots are almost impossible to make. The victims don’t seem to be linked and the sniper’s motive is unclear.
The real focus of attention in the remarkable Lucas Page – maths genius, university professor and former FBI Agent who has rebuilt his life around his new wife and their adopted or fostered children, after an incident in which he lost an arm, a leg and an eye. Now he’s been drawn back into the sniper hunt.
It’s a fast-paced, robustly-written thriller that keeps my mind fully occupied when I’m in it and makes me smile when I leave.
I loved Emily St. John-Madel’s ‘Station Eleven’. It did unconventional things with a story about a plague killing off so many people that the survivors had to reshape their civilisation. (suddenly, that doesn’t seem at all far-fetched).
In ‘Glass Hotel’ I’m hoping she’ll do something equally interesting with the thriller genre.