by Graham Swift
This was a great holiday read. Unlike most Booker books, it's simple and easy-to-read. I started it New Year's Eve and finished it less than 24 hours later. Like most Booker books, however, it's an amazing character study that draws on the extraordinary nature of ordinary life.
Four friends take a day trip to honour their fifth friends final request (much like my own -- a desire to have his ashes scattered at sea) and as the day progresses the background stories also unfold. Stories of unparalleled loyalty and unfathomable betrayal. Tales of self knowledge and complete self ignorance. And the fables we tell ourselves just to make life bearable -- what could have been, what really was, what didn't happen the way you think it did.
I want to follow the trail of the day trip -- from London, through Kent to Canterbury and Margate. And I want to die and know that my friends will honour me with the same love and honesty.