Continuing our week looking at the Best Reads of 2012 on The Reader Online, here are two more TRO staff offering their picks of the year:
“No hesitation in recommending this novel (even though I haven’t finished it yet) because it’s the darkest, most mood-altering, kaleidoscopic, poetic work of fiction I’ve read… Well, ever, possibly. Starting with four academics and their search for a reclusive (or maybe non-existent) German novelist, and visiting a godforsaken, murder-strewn Mexican metropolis— 2666 has taken me to parts of myself I haven’t visited for a long time. It’s the work of a genius and a real masterpiece. You should read it. And, if anyone wants to buy me a Christmas present—I’m hoping for Bolaño’s The Savage Detectives. Merry Chrimbo!”
(Danny Start, Volunteer Assistant)
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry – Rachel Joyce
“I picked up The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce this year and completely loved it. There are a few reasons for this; not the least that I want to do a pilgrimage myself. I’d probably like to be a little more prepared than Harold was and at least have my toothbrush with me when I start out and I’d like to walk less on the roads and more on footpaths than he did. It reminded me of the walking I used to do in the wop wops (kiwi slang for wilderness), sometimes for as much as 12 days with everything I needed, carried on my back. The freedom!
Harold felt compelled to walk the length of the country, something many would think was a batty thing to do and yet for those of us who love walking a totally sensible and attractive prospect. He is going to see a person who once did something selfless for him at a very painful and difficult time in his life, someone who quietly understood his need and situation. As he walks he has time to reflect on his life, where he’s been and where he’s going. I admit, there were tears, but it is what I like in a book, to be moved.”
(Megg Hewlett, Get Into Reading London Project Worker)