Truthfully, indifference can often settle itself into the brain of one who reads plentifully. Even ostensibly ‘great’ literature can fail to announce itself beyond a recognition that it is expertly constructed, and that it contains all of the correct literary machinery. Then there are books like ANIMALIA.
Last night, Stephen Colbert told his audience: ‘It’s only March, and 2020 has done the impossible: Made me nostalgic for 2019.’ But nobody in his audience laughed because they were all dead. Or at home. It isn’t clear at the moment, because I haven’t read the news.
Bower is on familiar territory when he gets on to the sex life of his unhappy victim: he pounces with the salacious information that Corbyn once had an affair with a member of his inner circle. Is it Dianne Abbot? Yes. Is it that one about how he brought his friends round to reveal her splayed out naked on his bed? Yes.
Machines Like Me is not a bad novel. Nor is it good, but somewhere in between. It exists in some literary limbo where the novels of Julian Barnes sulk like abandoned children.
On Leonardo, Kemp has produced paper after paper, book after book. But this one is different: this one is a memoir – the sum of his career, of his life’s devotion. What a shame, then, that it is so poorly written.
Engaging in this kind of discussion invariably places you in the role of some kind of curmudgeonly old Luddite, brandishing a prophetic end-of-days fist at deaf-eared youngsters taking another hit of the technological crack-pipe. I hereby revoke all claims to prophecy, but the wizened and cranky demeanour might serve.