The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Back In Print

I finished Higland Fling last night. It has been out of print for several decades and was only just republished last year. It was the one Nancy Mitford fiction title that I hadn't read and, as expected, it was just delightful.
Hooray for for Ms Mitford!! [Must use small words here to look good down side of pic] ... There is a carelessness and a breeziness in her writing that makes it feel very fresh and un-laboured, as though the whole thing were somebody telling a story to a friend over coffee, or a very rough first draft- almost stream of consciousness. I know this style is not to everyone's taste but I relish it. It was her first novel and while it is possible to see developing complexities and polish in her later work, Highland Fling is still a lovely book to read; very funny in parts, sharply observed and concisely written. .
While I spent months tracking down and waiting for Highland Fling to arrive I was also anticipating the republication of three Stella Gibbons titles: Conference at Cold Comfort Farm, Westwood and Starlight. Conference was ok. It was rather like a movie sequel where they can't get any of the original actors on board. The ho-hum-ness makes you remember how fantastic the first one was, and you admit it was loyalty to the memory of this that made you even remotely interested in the sequel. I didn't have great expectations so I wasn't really disappointed. Some elements were great but overall it seems to have dated pretty badly. Nevertheless, I was still keen to read Westwood and I am so glad I did. I drove Tallboy nuts by flopping about and sighing all over the apartment and saying things like "oh, wow" and "it's so lovely!". Reading Westwood was like drinking a cool, crisp glass of water on hot, stuff day. I was in such raptures over it that I have just bought Starlight which looks to be another great read.

1 comment:

  1. PLease stop tempting me with such delicacies otherwise I will never get to the bottom of my piles of books to read!