So far this summer I’ve been taking it easy with little time spent reading. I did, however, reread The Great Gatsby. My main reason for this was to see how Fitzgerald uses the peripheral narrator for my own novel.
Then I read Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland, a post-9/11 novel set in New York and London. 9/11 doesn’t play much of a role in the novel (mainly to suggest psychological issues with the narrator’s wife), the central focus of the novel is on cricket and a character called Chuck who wants to set up a large cricket ground in NY. The book meanders, but is well worth staying with. Further, the quality of writing is world class and displays a class of realism (characters and locations) that is second to none.
Now, I’ve started Richard Russo’s Empire Falls, which won the Pulitzer a few years back. I thought the prologue was overdone, but the central narrative is well written and conveys the intricacies of small town life to great effect.