Book Review: Waterland by Graham Swift

WaterlandWhat’s it about?

Set in the bleak Fen Country of East Anglia, and spanning some 240 years in the lives of its haunted narrator and his ancestors, Waterland is a book that takes in eels and incest, ale-making and madness, the heartless sweep of history and a family romance as tormented as any in Greek tragedy.



My thoughts

This was our book club read for June and one I had never heard of and in all honesty was not overly enthused to read when I picked it up from the library.  Pages and pages of small solid black text with no break for speech.  I knew it was going to be hard work.

Unfortunately you know a book’s not off to a great start when you’re skipping sentences and paragraphs within the first two chapters and ok, I have to confess I couldn’t finish this book but believe I’ve read enough so that you don’t have too.  I even had to consult Wikipedia for a synopis something I’ve never, ever had to do with a book before.

It’s a shame really because there were interesting plotlines in this book that switch between very different periods of time; a murder, a taking of a baby yet these got bogged down by superflous waffle about marshland, water and how silt occurs.  It’s almost like the author wanted to write a geographical analysis of the Fens whilst recounting significant historical events.

It says to me if you read this book you’re clever and well-read but not that you’d necessarily enjoy not really my cup of tea at all.

Book links: Goodreads | Amazon

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