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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Or is it Memorex?

Finished Wiliam Boyd's "Restless" last night. It's set against the background (as they always say) of British efforts to stampede America into the war during 1941. I enjoyed it in the belief that he was, if anything exaggerating the extent of the media manipulation that went on in the US at the time. Course, as soon as you've finished it, you start looking up the factual basis and you find that if anything he was underplaying it. I'm never sure how to approach these books that have their roots in actual events. There's a whole chapter about a botched espionage operation in a border town called Prenslo. You can't help wondering whether this is real and if it is should you go and look it up. But if you do and you find it's named after a very similar incident haven't you then broken down the invisible wall between fiction and fact?

3 comments:

  1. "Restless" is great. William Boyd never seems to get much of a shout when lists of Great British Novelists are getting drawn up, but book for book he delivers as much enjoyment as anyone.

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  2. Yes, I agree. 'Restless' is the best book I've read all year (closely followed by Arthur and George by Julian Barnes). I love everything by William Boyd. Particularly enjoyed 'The New Confessions'.

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