BOOK REVIEW: OLIVIA LAING – CRUDO

*Just a gentle note, this review may contain small spoilers*

I’ve never read anything from Olivia Laing before. And when I first saw Crudo, I was instantly intrigued by it. Last weekend, I went to London with my partner Ryan who was singing on Saturday night and there was one place that I really wanted to go to – Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street. I love bookshops and libraries and I kept seeing the shop all over my social media and I was obsessed of how gorgeous it looked. So, I made Ryan come with me to Daunt Books and that’s where I got my copy of Crudo – and a signed edition too! So, what’s it actually about? Here’s what the blurb reads:

KATHY IS A WRITER.
KATHY IS GETTING MARRIED.
IT’S THE SUMMER OF 2017
AND THE WHOLE WORLD IS FALLING APART.

From a Tuscan hotel for the super-rich to a Brexit-paraylsed UK, Kathy spends the first summer of her forties trying to adjust to making a lifelong commitment just as Trump is tweeting the world into nuclear war. But it’s not only Kathy’s who’s changing. Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is hotting up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all?

Sounds interesting, right? And it is. I have never read anything like this before in terms of it’s style and use of language. Olivia Laing really does reconstruct the idea of the novel.  Her use of language, her use of words, her use of sentence structure, is just a marvel.

This is a short book (very short) and I tried my best to savour every word, every sentence as I enjoyed it so much. It’s the perfect book to pack into your suitcase for your holiday’s this summer. Each chapter is thirty pages so a perfect book to dip in and out off. Plus, with that gorgeous cover, it will look perfect on the sun lounger by the pool.

As I’ve said, the writing is just so beautifully constructed and full of wonderful quotes. I loved this quote, and I’m still thinking about how good it is:

They’d talk themselves into tatters, now they needed to recharge on sunbeams and the basic smell of grass and dirt. Definitely almost autumn, the slant of the light, the lovely rotten ripeness. Plums, blackberries, the first few fallen leaves.

The writing is so descriptive and beautiful and really draws you into the story. There were a number of paragraphs that I just fell in love with and re-read them over and over.  This is a book that I think will become a classic and everyone will love reading it. I’ll finish this review with another beautiful quote:

Let nothing happen, just for a bit, let the minutes toll in the stunning air, let us lie on our beds like astronauts, hurtling through space & time. Kathy closed her eyes. For once, Kathy had let go of anxiety.

Have you read Crudo yet? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks,

Corey.

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