Friday, 30 May 2008

The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea by Mark Haddon

A poetry collection from the author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, this is a wonderfully varied book (for some reason, some critics see this as a weakness in a poetry collection, I don't, I revel in poetic variety). These poems are wonderfully imaginative and vivid, sometimes surreal, sometimes funny, sometimes sad and sometimes beautifully insightful. I could make long quotations from almost any poem in the book but I'll just stick with this, the ending of A Tally Stick about a farmhand learning to count:

Then pausing at the gate one night
he thinks of seven. Not trees. Not dogs.
Just seven. Like The Plough
before God put the stars in.

The collection also includes elegant new versions of Odes by Horace and a poetic condensation of a novel by John Buchan. I was sent this book by another member of Bookcrossing and now need to pass it on to the next on the list, but I may need to go out and buy a copy...


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this new book by Haddon. I enjoyed his Curious Incident book and will have to look this one up.

The poem you quote drew me back to his first book.

Lucy said...

I've not read the Curious Incident yet, but I like this poem.

Thanks for the pointers to the Ghazal Page and the Wendy Nyemaster book, which I'll look into.

Congratulations on the new job too.

Actually, what I really mean to say is it's given me a real boost coming here!

shadows and clouds said...

yay, this book does indeed seem soooo interesting and i must get around to reading it. i saw it in a bookshop in italy and contemplated getting it, but with it being in english, and costing more as an import i decided to wait for my next trip home. i did read the curious incident book a few months back in bed sickly one afternoon, and it was really wonderful!
thanks btw for the great helpful comments you left me about the islands! we booked our flight last night and so now i can begin to get a little excite!

Anonymous said...

Rose received this book as a gift from Jo when we were in London last fall. It's a very good book.