Teaser Tuesday 18
22 June 2010
This is how it works:
- Grab your current read.
- Let the book fall open to a random page.
- Share with us two (2) ‘teaser’ sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
- You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your ‘teaser’ from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
- Please avoid spoilers!
The Standing Pool by Adam Thorpe. Two left-wing English academics rent an intimidating country house in the South of France for a six-month sabbatical… and so far it’s an exceptionally well set up thriller, or ghost story, or whatever it’s going to be. (They’ve moved there with their three children: I wonder whether it’s going to go all Don’t Look Now.)
The couple are both historians of the western exploitation of Africa, and Thorpe knows how to use their characters to deliver a large amount of exposition (our communication culture’s bloody dependence on coltan mining, for just one thing) while playing out clashes of class, politics and transatlantic ways-of-being with their expat landlords from the USA. The narrative bristles with foreshadowing, from an estate agent warning of torrential rains to a mother who can’t see her children playing beside a pool without wondering which one, if there were to be an accident, she would save first. I may want to read this all again straight afterwards to see what I can learn from how he does it.
‘Mend him, Mummy,’ she ordered, tearfully, after an account had been given to their mother in the kitchen: a din of overlapping narrative chords obliterating the earnest voices on the radio.
‘There are certain things you can’t ever mend,’ said Sarah, with an air of significance. She felt more disappointed than shocked, partly because the girls tended to embellish. ‘Are you sure it was going that fast? I can’t believe anyone would go that fast with kids around.’ (p. 57)