Today I finished ‘The Music of Dunes’ by Mike Williams (Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2006). It was hard to put down and overall a total pleasure to read. I have to say though, everything I’ve read so far by Western Australian authors I’ve loved. I’m so impressed – our writers are producing some damn tasty fiction. But this book in particular, it really nourished the soul. It’s also one of the few books I’ve read lately that has had a happy ending.
If I wrote a book I’d want it to be like this. Well crafted, effortless to read. Full of beautiful imagery, emotion, a bit of philosophy, good humor, good music, good food. It gives value to the simplest but the best things in life. It was nice to read a story about characters who value the same stuff in life that I do. I also loved all the references to familiar music, musicians, and artworks. The adventures of Queen Anne (the protagonist’s cat) were hilarious.
So to update:
So far (in this challenge) I’ve read…
1. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Phillip K. Dick
3. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
4. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
5. In the Skin of a Lion – Michael Ondaatje
6. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
7. Paradise – Abdulrazak Gurnah
8. Gilgamesh – Joan London
9. Careless – Deborah Robertson
10. Milk and Honey – Elizabeth Jolley
11. The Music of Dunes – Mike Williams
Now I’ll finish reading:
The Well – Elizabeth Jolley
…Then I’ll return all my books to the library on Monday (oops – they’re overdue a few days) and hire some more.
I hope to hire ‘Old Jazz’ by Mike Williams, which apparently precedes ‘The Music of Dunes’ and is linked to it.. or at least the protagonist is the same guy. I really enjoyed reading Ondaatje’s ‘In the Skin of a Lion’ and then ‘The English Patient’, so I was excited to find out that there was another part to ‘The Music of Dunes’. If I can find a copy of ‘Old Jazz’ at the library I’ll be reading them back to front, but oh well. I’ll probably read them more than once anyway.