There's an ever growing pile of books I want to read…
A Week of Reviews – Sunday
This review is probably going to be pretty short, for a number of reasons. Firstly, because it is Sunday and I just want to relax after my long day at work. It’s fitting that my day off is tomorrow and that this is my last review for the week. Tomorrow shall be a glorious day of rest. It’s also going to be short because I really didn’t enjoy the book I’m reviewing. In fact, I didn’t finish it. Is it possible to review a book that you didn’t finish? Will your review still have any merit? I guess I’ll just write this and wait for the angry comments.
Dear Lupin… by Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer
Dear Lupin… was one of our bestselling hardbacks over Christmas. It was read on BBC Radio 4 and I’ve spoken to lots of customers who thought it was great. I thought, based on these recommendations, that I should give it a chance.
I need to make a confession before I start talking about this book too much. The truth is that I don’t really like reading other people’s letters. It’s different with letters to me from people that I care about but the letters of strangers do not interest me at all. I find the minutiae of other people’s lives dull. Is that terrible of me? Probably. I just wasn’t interested enough in this book to keep reading it.
Dear Lupin… is a series of letters from a father, Roger, to his son, Charlie. Charlie is not always particularly well behaved or self-disciplined and he lives a very meandering unsettled kind of life. His father nicknames him Lupin after the son in ‘Diary of a Nobody’. Roger doesn’t always approve of his son’s behaviour or actions but it’s clear from the letters that he does care about his son.
Unfortunately, he also writes a great deal about their neighbours, minor illnesses, pets and his hopes for Charlie’s career. He’s also a man of his time, which is to say that he is not always particularly open-minded. Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t seem like a bad man, but I definitely didn’t always agree with his opinions.
If you like books of letters, you might enjoy this book. It won the Sunday Times Humour Book of the Year, although I can’t imagine why because I didn’t find it funny at all. I’m sorry, everyone, I really did try but it just isn’t for me.
I feel like I ought to clarify how I grade books so that you understand where I am coming from. I don’t judge them based on literary merit but on how much I enjoy them. I might give something that I really, really enjoyed reading but I didn’t think was particularly good otherwise a higher score than you’d expect. This book only gets 1/5 because I found the experience of reading it dull and unenjoyable.