Sunday, 19 April 2009

Veggie Books: Barking

A bit of Tom Holt to break up the monotony of a sunny Sunday afternoon. Or am I the only one who finds sunny afternoons depressing? Well, apart from the Kinks.

Duncan remembered a playground: early autumn, dry leaves drifting in on the wind from the plane trees that grew just outside the school gates. Hughes the new boy, just moved into the neighbourhood, uncrinkles the silver foil in which lurks his first packed lunch at Lycus Grove. He's nervous about anybody seeing; understandably, since inside the foil are three slices of Ryvita spread with couscous, two cherry tomatoes and a short stick of celery.

I'm not quite sure why, but I get the feeling that writing funny is viewed as a little bit shameful, as if one shouldn't lower oneself to the goal of entertainment. Or maybe it's because we think nothing could be worse than being caught trying to be funny and failing.

You can't fail to be serious, though, can you? Sometimes I think being serious is the easier option.


Tim Stretton said...

I think humour is much more difficult to pull off than serious; but it's a poor writer who can't command a flash of it occasionally, if only to counterpoint their prevailing gloom.

My three favourite writers, Vance, Austen and O'Brian are all humourists in their own way - while at the same time very serious writers.

Aliya Whiteley said...

Ah well, it's a bit of a 'grass is always greener' debate really, isn't it? I mean, I daresay I'd think weighty literary fiction was the bee's knees (just one bee) if I wrote it.

Tim Stretton said...

The world has far too much literary fiction...stick to Whiteley World!