What’s with all these books obsessed with death and cramming everything in before the grim reaper appears? As my better half observed recently, ‘you’ll be seventy in twenty years’. This has been preying on my mind, but there is no shortage of books that suggest what I can do with my few remaining years, before I die.
The only problem is: is there enough time? And that’s before we’ve even tackled the unforgettable places to go to BYD, the 1001 places to visit BYD or the world’s natural wonders before you snuff it and join the choir invisible.
Fortunately, we don’t appear to have bought the book that I recall having a title similar to ‘100 places to take the kids before you die’. That’s taking all this morbidity too far. What next we ask? ‘100 Diseases to Endure Before you Die’?
I’m not a self help book reader, and scoff at “The rules”, “He’s just not that into you” and whatever relationship guide is being touted on Doctor Phil or Oprah. A bit too much regurgitation for my liking. But a well written relationship memoir – that’s another story. They can be the most intoxicating intimate, amusing and revealing books of all. And of course, the most interesting ones detail relationships that are bad. Really bad.
I’ve just finished a corker called What rhymes with bastard by Linda Robertson. Check out this excerpt from the Times online to get a bit of its flavour. It is funny, but like Ricky Gervais’s comedy, tinged with a lot of pain.
Linda’s story begins in London, and then she and her boyfriend then husband Jack move to San Francisco. It’s not unfair to call him a bit of a freak, socially inept, drunk and occasionally drug-addled, prone to quoting Nietszche and stealing roommates cheese from the fridge. Most worryingly, he puts down his wife and is utterly lacking in any sensitivity. When he decides their relationship should be open, it’s excruciating how he documents his encounters to her. He really is an enthralling git.