Art Kavanagh

Talk about books: a fortnightly email about things I’ve read

Talk about books newsletter: another slight delay, I’m afraid

I had intended to write today about four of the 11 novels in Sophie Hannah’s Simon and Charlie series, namely A Room Swept White (2010), Kind of Cruel (2012), The Carrier (2013) and The Telling Error (2014). They’re the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth respectively in the series. I reread all four books in the past 10 days and confirmed my impression that they’re very well done, both as psychological novels and puzzle-mysteries. I also noticed something I hadn’t spotted before when I hadn’t been reading them one after the other with nothing else in between.

But I think I bit off a little more than I can immediately chew. They’re complex, many stranded stories and I need to take more time over them than I had allowed myself to write today’s newsletter. So far today I’ve written about 1,300 words, most of which I think I can keep, but I haven’t yet worked out what approach I’m taking to these novels or how I want to relate them to each other.

So, I’m not going to send out my discussion of them today but instead hold it over till the weekend. Sorry for the delay and the inconvenience.

In the subsequent issue, I’m finally going to get to something I’ve been looking forward to: Ian McEwan’s spy stories. That issue would normally go out on 19 October, but I’m going to delay it too till the following weekend, as I’ll be moving apartment on the 20th, so I’ll have my hands full. (Luckily, I’m moving to another apartment on the same floor of this building.) After that, I’ll get back to sending them out every second Wednesday.

Thanks for your patience. Till the weekend.