Saturday, 26 May 2018

More about reading

I am 5/6ths of the way through Diane Setterfield’s novel “Bellman and Black”.  It has kept me reading long after my ‘lights out’ bedtime.  Like her first book, “The Thirteenth Tale”, it exemplifies the word (if there is one) unputdownable.  But now I have stopped and I have put it down.  Why this apparently strange change of behaviour?

A couple of days ago when I turned the last page of “The Thirteenth Tale” I felt quite bereft.  Have you ever felt like that upon finishing a book?  Even if the story itself has reached a satisfactory conclusion one wants the characters to live on, the writing style to be there for some more pages, the imagery to continue…   At least with “The Thirteenth Tale” I knew I had “Bellman and Black” on its way in the post (for a penny plus postage!) so I would be able to have more of the same writing style.  But Diane Setterfield hasn’t written a third novel yet. 

If you recognise the feeling of not wanting the book to ever end can you name a book that left you feeling that way?

(In my case another that springs to mind is “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” by David Mitchell). 


  1. I can remember at the age of 13 I did not want Gone with the Wind to end. I was young and impressionable and it was a Southern romance. I read 30-50 books a year and rarely does something grab me to the point of regretting the ending. I wonder if I have been too jaded over the years or just not finding something good or just out of my league.

  2. Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson.

  3. I'm sure that I have read books like that although I can't actually recall any at the moment. Oddly that doesn't mean that they were not memorable: just that I have an appalling memory.


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