Each January I make my way to the Lifeline Bookfest, an amazing second-hand book sale where there is, more or less, a million books on sale. It’s incredible, and very often I find rare, out of print, obscure titles. Or I complete my collection. Or I discover a new author. At any rate, this Bookfest I bought 59 books, and among them were some amazing early works of Samuel Beckett, a good deal of Lawrence Durrell, some Kakfa, a touch of Solzhenitsyn. And so forth.
And I always, always, buy a few trashy fantasy/sci-fi books that I remember from my youth. This year, I bought some David Gemmell.
Gemmell’s novels have male warriors who talk fierce and fight hard, and that’s about it. It’s all plot, endlessly so, and there are always sieges, and battles, and killing, and death, and jokes. There’s not a lot of levity, and certainly very little introspection, but the books barrel along. In this case, Waylander II is about an assassin, Waylander, who had chosen to settle down when his old life caught up with him. And it’s good! Or, it isn’t, but it’s enjoyable, and goes down easy.
So I liked it, and I’ll probably read another book or two of his (I bought a few!), but the difference between Gemmell and, say, T. S. Eliot, is profound, and I very quickly find myself needing to go back to Eliot level writing. But I can enjoy Gemmell nonetheless.
The Books, Read page contains a list of all of the books I have read this year.