December 30, 2011: McEwan v Barnes

So it seems I have a thing for English writers of a certain age. I’m halfway through Julian Barnes’ Man Booker prize-winning The Sense of an Ending and I feel like Mr. Barnes is giving Mr. McEwan a run for his money in the literary crush department. There’s just something about the dry English humour, the self-deprecating protagonists, the mastery of the English language, the sharp observation of class and manners and perhaps most of all, the delightful brevity of their work that makes me swoon. Indeed, my literary fantasy consists of a write-off (an authorly competiton not an accounting treatment) between McEwan and Barnes wherein each writes a novella for my private enjoyment and I declare a winner. To spice things up, I might invite Alan Bennett (author of The Uncommon Reader, one of my all-time favourite reads) to join in the fun. How’s that for excitement? Or perhaps I’ve been book-blogging for too long and it’s time to re-join the real world.

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