#287 the Buddha of Suburbia

I treated myself to this book on holiday after getting through the other three I’d taken way too quickly (despite rationing them quite a bit – I think I’d anticipated the French Lieutenant’s Woman being a lot more tedious than it was and so thought it would take a lot longer to read – otherwise in hindsight three books was not enough for a week away) and am really glad I did – although it was so good that I easily could have bought a fifth book (I was leaning towards something by Joseph Conrad of whom I’m not a massive fan so thought would be an ideal companion to being trapped on a plane) and got through that too because I had to stop myself reading it quite a bit the night before I flew home.

The Buddha of Suburbia is a kind of bildungsroman (my favourite) set in the suburbs of 1970’s London – then the city itself – against the backdrop of the growing punk scene – so is pretty much the perfect book for me and if I’d read this when I was 13-16 I definitely would have been a bit put out that my life was no where like this. The way it’s written is incredibly funny (I wanted to say “delightful” but couldn’t quite bring myself to), human and touching – this is one of the best books I’ve read in ages, really engaging and enchanting and I didn’t want it to end. I wish I’d read it ages ago but equally was so happy to be discovering it for the first time. All the characters are exceptionally three dimensional, comic and tragic all in one… as with other really good books I’ve read, I don’t really think I can write much more about this one except that I would really recommend it.

Also recently it’s come to my attention that although I’ve been saying (to anyone unfortunate enough to ask) that I’ve read “almost 300” books from the list I’m actually still 13 off – which could take me well past Christmas so I’d better get a move on (and definitely should have taken another book on holiday !).


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