I got to thinking this morning how extremely differently two sets of eyes can see the same thing. My brother started reading A Fraction of the Whole, a novel by Steve Toltz that was shortlisted for the 2008 Booker Prize, because I recommended it. I asked him if he’d read White Tiger, the actual winner of the award, and he said no because I’d told him not to bother! And it’s true. I found White Tiger to be reasonably well written but the story-line didn’t do anything for me and the result was a book that left me uninspired. On the other hand, I really enjoyed the way A Fraction of a Whole was written and LOVED the plot… it left me wondering how on earth someone had imagined such a crazy series of events but managed to portray them in such a way that one could forget they were reading a work of fiction from time to time.
The more concerning thought to come from this realisation is that perhaps I’m just a story-line junkie, that I’m not a true appreciator of literary ability. I’m currently reading Love in the Time of Cholera as recommended by Mon as one of her favourite books and to be honest I’m just not getting the vibe. Must explore this disturbing idea and hopefully prove to myself that it’s not all just about the plot!