A. S. Byatt The Children’s Book

A. S. Byatt’s Posession has long been one of my favourite novels so I enthusiastically seized upon her latest work,  The Children’s book …  and was dismayed.  Just I had engaged with the characters in the first chapter the book dives off into a discourse on the bohemian and radical in late Victorian society and then to a whole other group of people; it’s worse than a Russian epic.  David Larsen’s review in the Listener July 4th 2009, p.40-41) sums it up: “Absorbing, rewarding and exasperating…”   so I perservered, skipping ahead sometimes but the going back and re-reading.

I am now up to page 300 (it’s a big solid book) and the rhythm of the novel has captured me.   I may even buy it which I only do with novels I know I am going to want to re-read – does anyone else do that?   Yes, chunks of social history could have been edited out, but you can skim them; yes there are too many characters to fully develop as they deserve to be, but none the less, I love it.  Oh to be able to write like this at all let alone when you are 80.

Sue C.

3 thoughts on “A. S. Byatt The Children’s Book

  1. Petrel 7 July 2009 / 3:53 am

    73, actually.

  2. ailsa 15 July 2009 / 7:41 pm

    only at P. 60 ..but so far bedazzled1

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