Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Utterly Monkey

I've been reading Northern Irish author, Nick Laird's debut novel, Utterly Monkey. Thus far it's been an enjoyable read. I found the following passage particularly enjoyable:

Tonight then, he would make sure that when she turned up her stuff would be sitting out for her in his sky blue hallway -- sky blue because she'd decorated it. Not actually decorated it, but she'd told Danny what colours to paint it and had been instrumental in finally getting it done. She recycled the colour cards as bookmarks, and left them in the various novels she'd begun and abandoned. Over the last two months rereading Graham Greene, Danny had learned the colours of the walls in his bedroom and boxroom; apricot and cinnabar. The card wedged between the twelfth and thirteenth pages of The Great Gatsby, his favorite novel and the one he'd pulled out from the shelf, sleepless, to reread three nights back, had revealed the kitchen to be either cowslip or mustard, depending on the light. Someday, possibly, Danny might learn that his hallway was, in fact, teal, if he ever happened to make it past the fifth chapter of Colleen McCullough's The Thorn Birds, left behind by the flat's previous owner.
It's specificity makes it quite believable. There's something real about coming across the trappings of an old flame shortly after she's "exit stage left" and Laird's description of that experience is one of the more realistic I've read in contemporary literature.

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Now playing: Roch Voisine - Blue Christmas
via FoxyTunes

1 comment:

Susan as herself said...

My favorite thing about that passage is all the colors listed: I can eaily imagine rooms in apricot, cinnabar, etc... lovely.