So, a little email from Dean Street Press brightened my day (let's face it, week), when they offered me the chance to review one of their new releases. I'm so thankful they did as Getting The Picture, which you can buy here, did not disappoint. Written entirely in letters, notes, emails and answering machine messages, this book is full of touching reminisces of a life that once was, or could have been. I personally love authors who toy a little with your feelings, getting you to turn this way and that in terms of who you trust - believe me (oh the irony), this book does test you a bit.
Martin Morris, a retired pornographer, moves into Pilgrim House and is delighted at the prospect of getting to know his ex-lover, Mo's, husband. Having always imagined that she would not leave her husband for him because this husband was a wonderful person full of positive characteristics, he is somewhat perturbed to meet the grumpy, obsessive George. The book centres around letters from Martin to the dearly missed Mo, but features communication from different residents to one another, the care workers and George's family.
This is only going to be short, as I think over-analysing this book would take away from some of it's charm. At first reminding me of 'The Notebook' (one of my top favourite films), it really explores what it's like to grow old and feel unfulfilled in your love life. The manner of writing which the author develops here really allows for a multiplicity of perspectives to be displayed, whilst the true identity of the character is somewhat concealed - after all, if you're writing a letter to someone you are presenting them with a version of your life that you want them to see. All the little snippets of information the reader gets build up until all of them start to come together and you really start 'Getting the Picture'. I would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in romance who's getting bored of the cliched boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back narrative.
What do you think of books that are written in non-conventional forms?