Maybe it’s because I’ve not been ill in a fairly long time, but having succumbed to the speedy assault of the first back to school bug this week, I’ve been feeling particularly crap. It’s like I’d forgotten just how crap it is being ill, and the last three days and nights have been a misery. I’ve not even been really able to enjoy what is normally the pleasure of laying on the sofa or in bed reading comic books and watching cheesy movies. Not that I haven’t tried… I noticed this morning that the new Lemony Snicket title has just been published in the USA, and it’s just my luck that I didn’t have it around when I’ve been feeling at my most low ebb. I’m sure it would cheer me up no end. Lemony Snicket is just the kind of chap you want to read when you are feeling low and incapable of reading anything that is, ah, I was going to say ‘challenging’, but scratch that and instead substitute ‘grown up and dull’. Thing is, I don’t think I have been able to read anything ‘literary’ in years. I tried reading Iain Sinclair recently. It was White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings that I tried. Couldn’t get into it at all. Now either I’m getting dimmer with age (entirely probable) or I’ve just totally lost my patience with books that try to be too damn clever for their own good (also probable). Huh.
Anyway, C.D. Payne’s Youth In Revolt could never be described as being too clever for its own good. Oh no. Nor could the sequel, Revolting Youth, which has helped nurse me through the past few days. Not as monstrously extended as the original, Revolting Youth is nonetheless so stuffed full of highly unlikely teenage escapades that you can imagine C. D. (he’s in his seventies or something crazy!) having the time of his life whilst writing it. It aint gonna win no awards for clever literature, but it’s a bloody great sick bed read, and I loved it.