Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Review: "Lost for Words" by Edward St. Aubyn

While it lacks the urgency and bravado of his world famous Patrick Melrose novels, Edward St. Aubyn’s latest work Lost for Words, his first since he concluded Patrick’s tale with At Last, is still pretty good, and well worth your time for the end of summer blues. To be honest, most British fiction bores me to death, whether it is my odd attachment to Ian McEwan, who has not written a great book since Enduring Love or a writer like Julian Barnes, there is just something so stuffy and academic about them that filters into their prose and humor that I find completely unappealing. But St. Aubyn is much different, possessing a keen eye for detail, with passages that are biting and exuberant and never try to bore the audience into thinking that what the author is thinking is clever and superior. This novel is defiantly more of a fun book than anything in the Patrick Melrose novels, which contain scenes that will shake you to the core. This novel is different in that is takes a funny and in depth look at literary awards and the shenanigans that surround them. The award in this book is called the Elysian Prize, which is based off of the Booker Prize. The book details the selection process from both the writer’s and the judges perspective, from a judge who is wholly unqualified to judge literature to one that seems overqualified and intent on making others think her way. There is also a writer who is a serial heartbreaker and the sad, first time writer who loves her; and not to mention a cookbook that is submitted by mistake and has a chance at winning. But what St. Aubyn makes clear that isn’t important in this world is the book’s quality and the enjoyment of reading. I’m sure no one will call this a masterpiece, but this book is never boring and leaves you with a smile, which can be rare in modern literature.

Rating: 4/5

No comments:

Post a Comment