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Scarlett Thomas

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Every now and then the nattering of the radio in the background of my boating life throws up a real gem. Five Easy Ways With Chilli by Scarlett Thomas, read by Claire Skinner was one of them. As I pottered around, tidying and clearing, I listened intently as a young woman's love life was turned into a series of recipes (not too dissimilar from Esquival's Like Water For Chocolate with a repetitious and delicious chilli metaphor.

I knew nothing about the author of the piece until the very end of the reading and it struck me as I am about to turn the final pages on one of her books. I had never heard of Scarlett Thomas before Canongate sent me a copy of one of her novels, The End of Mr Y (does she have others? I must find out). Mr Y has been a squirmer of a novel so far and it keeps morphing from one thing to another in a similar way that David Mitchell manages with number9dream and Cloud Atlas. Can't wait to devour the end of the story this weekend.

Anyway, I highly recommend giving the Radio 4 piece a listen and although I haven't heard any of the other readings listed on that page, I bet they're great too.

Can you believe that yet another week has flown by? Me either.

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( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
o_jenny
Aug. 8th, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
If she's anything like Mitchell, I must read her. I adore him.
inkognitoh
Aug. 8th, 2008 01:16 pm (UTC)
The similarity to Mitchell is striking but that is not to say she captures his magic. Her writing is as slippery as his in that I'm never entirely sure what is going on but it isn't as seemless (who could be LOL?). I'd recommend her for Mitchell fans though definitely.
florafloraflora
Aug. 8th, 2008 02:42 pm (UTC)
<3 the LOL.

I wish I could listen to Radio 4 here. I suspect it would blow my own WAMU out of the water.
elvenresistance
Aug. 8th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
I love the LOLcat. That's so awesome.

I haven't heard of either of the two authors you've mentioned. What style/genre do they write within? I'm terrible with audio-books, as I tend to zone out an awful lot and lose what was going on. However, if it's a genre I can get into, maybe I can pick up one of their books and see if they suit my fancy. :)
greedyreader
Aug. 8th, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
I not haz a ADD
I cannot follow audio books either. I totally zone out and find myself miles away from the story.
inkognitoh
Aug. 8th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
What style they write in is the million dolar question. David Mitchell writes literary fiction - he's been shortlisted for the Booker Prize twice. I guess their styles would most closely resemble Science Fiction and/or Magical Realism neither of which are styles I would normally read and enjoy.

I feel the same way regarding audio books but the radio programmes linked above are short ten - fifteen minute readings and not at all arduous to 'sit through' as such.
mrsdanvers63
Aug. 8th, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Your the second LJer I know to celebrate Scarlett Thomas, after I had bought "The end of MR Y" on spec. It's rising up Mt Tobie.

What I want to know is how you get Canongate (one of my favourite publishing houses because they publish authors like Louise Walsh, Alessandro Barrico)to send you free books?
synskin
Aug. 9th, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)
I was at work the other day with the radio and I ended up hearing 5 ways to chilli, not knowing who wrote it. I thought that it was quite funny as well as poignant. When I found out it was by Scarlett Thomas I was quite shocked as she was my creative writing lecturer in University. I need to pick up The End of Mr Y and Popco as I am quite ashamed to say I never read anything by her and now feel quite guilty about it.
inkognitoh
Aug. 11th, 2008 08:01 am (UTC)
But was she a good lecturer. The world just gets smaller and smaller LOL :)
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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