What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
February 16, 2007
A couple of days ago somebody told me that I had the best job in the world. Normally when people say this they are implying that it must be great to just lounge around listening to Miles Davis whilst reading Shelley and discussing post-scarcity anarchism with whoever might pass by. And of course it's exactly like that.
In our dreams.
In our dreams the carpet hoovers itself, the books sell and re-order themselves and then magically re-appear on the shelves, and all invoices are self paying on 120 days. Oh, and there's an extra day at the end of every week when the kids are looked after by Mary Poppins and the day is entirely devoted to reading.
And so it was very refreshing, last weekend, to visit my sister at her health farm and to be waited on hand and foot whilst lounging around reading (with the occasional break for a football match and an excellent Chinese meal) as Fred had a sleepover in the country and the star Nottingham Forest striker Nathan Tyson became his new best friend - boy can that lad sign an autograph!
Even better, then, that the book that I read, What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn, was, as has been noted elsewhere, so good. It is both funny and mysterious and absolutely compelling and it's set in Birmingham and partly in a record shop.(What more could you wish for?). There is even shop-floor dialogue like what you sometimes get here (only better). It reminded me a little of the contemporary films of Stephen Poliakoff and also of an urban version of the Graham Swift novel, Waterland.
Whatever, it deserves to be a massive word-of-mouth hit, every bit as famous as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, and would, dare I say it, make a fantastic selection for the next round of Richard and Judy.
So that's its chances completely buggered then.
Shoe the kids here.
Oh bugger, put one by for me. I need something to keep me off the fags and the girlfriend's away for the weekend, so I need something to keep me away from the telly as well. Nice cover, reminds me of a certain wolf book but better.
Posted by: Simon Sharville | February 16, 2007 at 03:57 PM
Hi J - did you get your tea towel prize yet?
Or have you binned it, fearing it might have been an improvised explosive device?
Posted by: matthew | February 23, 2007 at 10:30 AM
No no, proudly hanging in the kitchen for when I feel like coming over all Royalist. (Or when my mother visits.)
I did say thanks over at your place, but I know what it's like; nobody reads their own blog do they?
Posted by: JonathanM | February 23, 2007 at 11:03 AM
Read our blog? Nah...
Kitson was great, I think he may be a genius.
Posted by: matthew | February 23, 2007 at 08:20 PM
this book is a real corker. read it in two sittings, could not get enough. if there is only one book you read this year make sure its this one!
Posted by: Jamie Pace | February 26, 2007 at 11:27 AM
When I was done with the book, I was happy I had read it, and I was very satisfied with the story. This book was so different to anything I had read before.
Posted by: Kitchen Benchtops | February 14, 2012 at 05:53 AM