Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Novels About Books
You’ve been very patient (or maybe you’re just ignoring me). But I did promise a supplemental list of my favorite novels focused on books, so here ya go. It's not comprehensive, but it's mine:
Last year a book came out of Spain that blew my socks off: Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. Although the plot does revolve around a particular book, I lost my heart in the prologue, with the introduction of the Cemetary of Forgotten Books.
Another favorite of mine was Thomas Wharton’s Salamander, which is a fantastical story involving a quest for a never-ending book.
I’m putting Cold Comfort Farm on the list for a couple of reasons: 1. The main character is planning to use her experiences with the Starkadders as fodder for her novel, 2. It’s a dead on parody of a particular style of book that any English major would be familiar with, and 3. It’s one of my very favorite books, and it’s my list, so nyah!
The Thursday Next novels of Jasper Fforde (The Eyre Affair, Lost in a Good Book, The Well of Lost Plots, Something Rotten, and Thursday Next: First Among Sequels) Combine a bookish childhood with an antic sense of the absurd and a serious sense of humor and you get Jasper Fforde. He has created a booklover’s paradise in his little alternate corner of the world, and it’s a treat to spend time there. How can you resist a device that allows the villain to kidnap Jane Eyre (yes, the Jane Eyre)? Or a vast library of book plots overseen by the Cheshire Cat? Or a villain named Jack Schitt? Puns, wordplay, gentle mockery of beloved literary characters; it’s a bookish delight.