Earlier this year, I discovered what everyone was talking about last year when I finally sat down and read Kate Atkinson's CASE HISTORIES. The book is a miraculous achievement, combining elements of many different genres to tell a story that is laugh-out-loud funny, haunting, and poignant. I highly recommend it to each and every one of you.
I'm the type of person that needs to read/watch/listen to an entire artist's canon once that artist strikes my fancy. Which led me to Atkinson's first novel, the award-winning BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM. I just finished it, and can vouch for that one too. If Kate Atkinson isn't my favorite modern fictionist, she's certainly at the top of the list. Here's a sequence from BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE MUSEUM, which I find to be quite hilarious:
'Bloody World Cup,' Sandra says, her eyes like narrow slits as she turns to Ted in disgust. 'Aren't you ashamed, isn't your wedding-day more important than the World Cup?'
Ted can't help himself somehow. Until this moment of his life lies have fallen from his lips like rain, but on this occasion, this very public, important occasion, we watch in horror as he drops, like a parachutist without a parachute, onto the hard rock of truth.
'Of course not,' he says. 'It's the bloody Final!'