Red Shift Alan Garner

One of the rare times that I have read a book simply because I had to, not because I wanted to. I constantly had to push myself to read it because was one of the chosen ones on my university reading list. The ending left me with the same feeling in Indie films- the “life goes on” ending. I simple finished and went straight into “As You Like It” by the Bard, life really does go on.

So red shift

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 It is about 3 different time periods, linked together by the 3 main men being mad, a stoneaxe and the area of Mow Cop. When I started to read it I could see the same type of language that the author Jonathan Safran Foer uses (I have reviewed one of his books here), yet it lacked the beauty and emotions. Instead the conversations felt fragmented (possibly to highlight the fragmentation between the time periods) and a few times I had to double check I hadn’t skipped a page. It reminded me of the film Cosmopolis (and probably the book if I made myself read it) which I didn’t get. Possible due to not being clever enough. I felt like I was missing out on something when the film finished – but with Red Shift – I didn’t care. I could survive without not knowing- the stark opposite to the Shallow Grave or Inception ending (I know they are movies but it is the same concept), which excruciatingly I will never know.

The book will be studied in the “craft of writing” module- so maybe the lecturer will shed the academic light on what amazing poignant thing that (I have missed out on) the author is addressing. But for now I would not recommend reading it. It got better at the end where there was more action ( as it feels like a play, characters constantly talking when they have nothing valuable to say), replacing the unrealistic conversations. Maybe if it was longer and delved deeper I would actually understand and therefore care for the characters. Until the lecturer enlightens me, I guess onwards and upwards to William Shakespeare.

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