There a number books in my house that don’t really belong to me. That is to say, I didn’t purchase or otherwise acquire them myself. Instead they were left behind when my ex-partner moved out and he told me I could have them.
No two people have the same taste in books, it would seem, and a lot of these books I gave away to charity; I simply had no interest in many of them. But some did intrigue me. While not being the kind I would have picked myself, I was interested in widening my reading experience, so I kept them.
Among this latter pile were a couple of small books by Jim Crace, and I’m now very glad I kept them. They have proved to be an extraordinary literary complement to my collection.
The first one I picked, The Devil’s Larder, is a gorgeous collection of short stories. Now then, there’s nothing kinky about these whatsoever, but the writing is beautifully decadent, as though the writer crafted each tale lying naked on a purple velvet chaise longue, being waited upon by a young castrated slave bringing endless goblets of wine to wash down sumptuous fruits.
But then, reading this tremendous work of Crace’s brings out these kinds of thoughts. It’s the kind of book which brings guilt trips upon the sensitive soul, for how could us mere mortals be deserving of even a moderate-sized portion of this rare treat?
If you get the opportunity to taste this amuse-bouche of literature, please do take a decisive bite. Chew it carefully and at a leisurely pace, preparing your literary taste buds for what is about to suppress the appetite of your mind.