8. Boating for Beginners

Some of you might remember that I decided to take a little holiday from my Reading Challenge. Firstly I smashed through Divergent by Veronica Roth and I’ve slowly, very slowly, been drifting through Jeanette Winterson’s Boating for Beginners. Granted this is not a novel on my Reading Challenge list but like my Divergent post I thought why not? I haven’t been very active lately so let’s make a little effort.

Boating for Beginners by Jeanette Winterson

As you can see this novel is yet ANOTHER charity shop find. I know I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, charity shops are a limitless resource. If you are a big book worm like me who currently has limited resources use your charity shops. Sure you might not be able to find anything your looking for, but you might just walk out with six books you’ve been after for a long time.

This Winterson novel is a rewrite of Noah’s Ark story. It is very entertaining much like Sexing the Cherry, the Winterson novel I read earlier this year. It’s light hearted and satirical and very much a re-imagining. If you like Terry Pratchett’s work, you will very much enjoy this novel. It’s taken me a long time to get through it simply because I’ve had a lot going on.

“Freud says we are preoccupied with deluges as a safeguard against bed-wetting.” – Boating for Beginners, Winterson, p66

It follows Noah, and some other characters, in the discovery of what the Unpronounceable really is and how this deity has come to be, and how the flood comes about. There is friction in beliefs across this world, whether or not fridges and freezers should be allowed and if they are healthy. Ham, and his attempt at opening a fast food chain. Gloria who is having an intellectual awakening, from being spoon fed trash romantic fiction all of her life she discovers philosophy and feminism and transexuals. Generally this is a sweet and endearing little tale. It also works on the premise that Noah is trying to scam future generations with his rewrite of his manuscript that tells of the coming of the Unpronounceable. And of course, as always, Winterson’s writing is first class.

“She’s soggy round the edges and peculiar in her outlook but her heart is still loud; and to keep the roaring inside, however you do it, must be worth something.”Boating for Beginners, Winterson, p67

I always find myself falling in love with Winterson’s work, no matter how hard I try there are just always lines that I can’t get enough of. There are definitely a couple of lines that resonated with me and of course the characterisation is beautifully done.

“She had always imagined that pain suited her. It didn’t. It made her fat and a lunatic, and she realised it for the first time.” – Boating for Beginners, Winterson, p94

This is a novel that covers a lot of ideas and it discusses a lot of things very subtly and without judgement. In the best possible way it is human and charming and beautifully enjoyable and accepting. I will certainly read this again someday.

It is also a very good day for me, as I was given a little cash for Easter as I am mostly unable to eat mainstream chocolate. So I treated myself finally:

The Martian by Andy Weir and Issue 4 of Saga
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