Friday, June 06, 2008

Back from Holiday

::Acquired Taste has returned from a few days in New York. It says something about me that I flew halfway across the globe to one of the world's greatest cities--and what I liked best was a park. In fact, I enjoyed pretty much everything about New York, but there was nothing to match the marvel of Central Park, a vast wilderness carved out from among the skyscrapers.

The shops of New York largely passed me by: while the ladies had their shopping expedition, I holed up in Barnes and Noble's coffee shop and finished off The Blade Itself. All I bought on the trip was a couple of books I could have got in England: Richard Stark's Dirty Money (woo hoo! a new Richard Stark!) and the second book of Joe Abercrombie's First Law series, Before They Are Hanged. The latter is a trade paperback, normally a format I avoid. There is something about American trade paperbacks, though, which makes them much better to read: they tend to be bound more loosely, and you don't have to fight--or even break--the spine to keep the book open. Perhaps other transatlantic readers have noticed this feature?

On the subject of Joe Abercrombie: I have now finished the first two books. I will blog much more about Abercrombie later--he is a writer of unusual gifts, and for anyone who enjoys fantasy his books are a treat. Darkly humorous, dripping with rich characterisation and with great control of voice, Abercrombie is setting the standard for modern fantasy fiction.

I have not yet restarted The Last Free City: today is the first day I have felt close to alert since I returned. Reading the latest scene last night to refresh my memory was not a pleasant experience, and I am forced to fall back on my mantra "everything can be fixed in revision". At the weekend I will return to the first draft: at this stage, driving the story forward is more important than fixing the infelicities which I fear lurk on every page.


Alis said...

Nice to have you back, Tim - glad you and the family had a great time. Hope you get back into TLFC easily - I would say don't worry too much about how the last chapter read, but I know I would, so I'll keep quiet!

David Isaak said...

Central Park is pretty cool.

The Olmstead Brother (Frederick Law Olmstead designed Central Park) were hired to design the Seattle Park System, too. Their visionary concept for Seattle had all the parks connected by greenbelts so you could walk from any neighborhood to any other without leaving the parks.

Unfortunately that interfered with some major real estate development plans, so it was only partially completed. The result is that Seattle has some really weird-shaped parks in unexpected places...