Blogged Out Ma Nut

Emoticoning but with letters.

The Bridge - Iain Banks What the hell this is so boring and aimless, and just not very well crafted either. I have to return to [a:Murakami|3354|Haruki Murakami|]'s rule from [b:1Q84|10357575|1Q84 |Haruki Murakami||18160093]: if the reader hasn't seen something before, you should take extra time to describe it.

And I knew it. I knew if I even caught a sniff of criticism of this book they would call it 'Kafka-esque', everyone's favourite shorthand for weird and depressing*. People praise [a:Murakami|3354|Haruki Murakami|] for his true understanding of [a:Kafka|5223|Franz Kafka|], and I have to praise him too because I don't get Kafka, but I have a strong inkling for what someone is going to call Kafka-esque, which often only tells me that the critic is reminded of Kafka, and not necessarily that the writing has any qualities of Kafka. Incidentally, this also feels like the depths of [a:Banks|7628|Iain Banks|]' understanding of Kafka. Kafka.

Okay, so this is a book about psychology and an in-depth exploration of our relationships, but first and foremost, it may come as a surprise that it's actually about a fucking bridge. And if you go 'I got in the lift, I went to the building' where is the lift? The building, in relation to the bridge? Alongside it? Does it occlude the passage along the bridge? Then your character goes beneath the bridge and starts cutting about**. I didn't even know what the top of the bridge looked like! Now you're underneath it? What's there? I am given next to no tools to visualise this bridge, the buildings etc.

If you're going to build a weird world, well... build it. If you have a message about relationships, don't expect to wow me with psychoanalysis and literary quality before you have a plot, characters and- oh god!- a setting.

Go home literature, you're drunk.

*I forgot [a:Beckett|1433597|Samuel Beckett|], too. Was it weird and depressing? Yeah. Didyageddit? No. Beckett!
**Scottish 'walking about'

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