Boating for beginners


After The Passion, Oranges are not the only fruit and Sexing the cherry I read Boating for beginners, this being my fourth book from Janette Winterson.

It’s no secret that I love her writing, she’s one of the most playful writers I have ever read but, no matter how much I enjoy this, the last three books didn’t have the same impact as The Passion had upon myself during my years of college. Probably it’s all about the „first time” effect and whilst I got used to her topics and words, it didn’t make me wonder so much. Nevertheles, I admire her to the moon and back, and I won’t stop reading her writings.

Making use of a biblical myth, this book can be seen as a biblical parody, to be more exactly, it’s a retelling of Noah’s Ark in a funny way. In it, Noah has created God from ice cream and then he finds himself subordinated to the latter because he has no choice. The Flood seems to be an absurd wish of a spoiled brat, i.e. Noah’s creation! Meanwile, the society of those days has television and doesn’t lack feminism either, so we can add the fact that besides being a biblical parody, the book gets some points of a social and religious satire, too.

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I can’t exacly tell you what happens in the book, I find it difficult to keep a track of all the events, but the characters are rather nice and weird. As for a recommendation, I’d rather suggest this book to Winterson’s fans.

These being said, I have to add that, without having a plan or any idea, I read the first four books written (chronologically) by this author: starting with Oranges are not the only fruit (her debut in 1985) and continuing with the one I’m speaking about right now ( 1985 also) , The Passion (written in 1987- my birth year) and Sexing the cherry (1989), all of them are wrote before  the 90’s, and if I really want to keep track of Winterson’s writing in time it seems that the next book of hers I have to read is Written on the body (1982), and yay me, I have this book, too! 😀

To end this right, as I got you used to it, some quotes from Boating for beginners are to follow:

Many years cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.

‘The Meaning of Life, began Doris slowly, is death.’ Gloria looked blank. All your clothes are rooting, all your food is putrefying, you’re covered in dead skin and your bowels are full of muck. Why try and pretend? No wonder we don’t have an easy life.’

We’re all drunken mice running round on the wheel of fortune and some of us are lucky and some of us aren’t. Lucky.

In the original Genesis or How I Did It, events, people and places had been lumped together purely for dramatic effect. Doris admired that; it showed a magnificent lack of concern for order and common sense.

She felt about touching her mother the way natives feel about looking into a camera: her soul might be transferred by accident.

Keep up with the good readings, guys!

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