Tuesday, June 3, 2008
If you visit New York City, a great place to go is the Strand. It's a chain of used/new bookstores here in the city. Their logo is bright red (you can't miss it) which proudly proclaims "18 Miles of Books". Nice!
For some reason my husband and I were out on 59th Street on the south corner of Central Park. The Strand was doing a sidewalk sale of books so I had to check it out. I found Graham Swift's book, The Light of Day and had to pick it up because 1) it's on the 1001 to-read list and 2) he wrote one of my favorite books. Graham Swift is a British author and he won the Booker Prize for his book The Last Orders. I read The Last Orders for a class and absolutely loved it. I definitely recommend The Last Orders. It's about a group of older men, friends for years and years who always meet up at a Pub in England. When one of them dies, the rest are left to carry out the last orders (last wish) of their friend. A wonderful book.
I guess that's why The Light of Day wasn't my favorite book. It wasn't bad, just not great. And I was expecting greatness. The book's central character is a private investigator who used to be a cop but was disgraced. He now investigates spouses who are cheating. (Hasn't this plot been done just one too many times?) I will give it the Graham Swift that the plot did swerve to the original. The story telling was not linear but took place on the two year anniversary of a fateful day. The P.I. had taken a case and had gotten too emotionally involved. The case obviously takes a tragic turn. I have to admit that while the first half was a struggle to keep reading, I was a bit hooked to read it through to the end. In it's non-linear format I wanted to fill in all the gaps in the story and had to finish the book.
If you are going to read a Graham Swift book I definitely recommend The Last Orders over the Light of Day. If you are wanting a good detective book, The Light of Day isn't too bad. But I was expecting great.
Other people's reviews: