Lanchester’s Capital is making me feel snarky, like a chair I can’t get comfortable in. Brain keeps making unhelpful comments.
The new craze was for doing up basements…
[Why are you repeating that thing about the basements conversions as if you haven’t said it before? You wrote about it two pages ago!]
On a rainy morning in early December [you did this before], an 82-year-old woman sat in her front room at 42 Pepys [ffs] Road, looking out at the street through a lace curtain. Her name was Petunia Howe [no it wasn’t] and she was waiting for a Tesco [Tesco really? Really Tesco? Tesco Tesco Tesco] delivery van.
See? Unhelpful. Trying to enjoy it, can’t because of stupid snarky brain.
Since they were put in there had not been a single day on which Albert did not complain about them: literally not a single one from the day the road reopened to traffic until his sudden death [hm. what? read again. ok u mean ‘after’ not ‘since’].
English City banker Roger is talking to his German boss, Lothar:
‘They’re a good bunch,’ he said. ‘Work hard play hard, same way all kids are these days.’
‘Figures look pretty gut,’ said Lothar in a neutral voice.
[hang on.go back. who’s German? Why’s Roger speaking like Arnie Schwarzenegger?]
…Roger’s own PC, given over to email and IM and video-conferencing and his diary [ahhh… IM? this… it’s not quite right, is it? Shd b just ‘messaging’ or something surely?]
*puts down book, stares out of window*
[Tho now I realise my problem with Tesco I think! It’s not that they’re kinda immaterial – IM, Tesco – it’s just the neat touch that JL has in his essays of showing and utilising a connection with the everyday, your and my everyday, that other writers on the same subjects usually haven’t got, seems rather heavily deployed here, so that they become not descriptive but very mildly totemic, without really being usefully totemic, just ‘here are some modern things’.]
*picks up book. frowns*
[Must just get on with this. Plenty to enjoy, I’m sure. I’m only 28 pages in, just whizz through, don’t worry about what are really very minor stylistic things, find the stuff to enjoy, like… Well, it looks like something is going to happen – these notes being posted through people’s doors, the financial crash – so that’s good. I kinda enjoyed the banker going through his personal finance stuff in that chapter – it was a neat encapsulation of a type – tho it reminded me of The Bonfire of the Vanities a bit, and JL did all that high finance thing in Whoops! much much better, feels it’s a bit heavy handed here. Must ignore the fact that I keep thinking JL=Martin Amis neutral. Maybe that’s why the style keeps barking my shins. Forget MA.]
*concentrates on book*