What is it about?
Geoff Dyer, procrastinator extraordinaire, has promised his agent an in-depth academic study of D. H. Lawrence. But he can’t start writing it right now because he’s living in Paris, and it’s making him miserable. But now he’s moved away from Paris and he misses it too much to write. Then he moves to Rome with his girlfriend, where it’s too hot to write. Then he can’t write because he doesn’t have the right book, then he can’t write because he’s read another book too fast. As he travels around the world looking for excuses not to write his study of D. H. Lawrence, Geoff Dyer comes to realise something; everyone has their own study of D. H. Lawrence that they have to write.
Is it any good?
There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed, and parts that absolutely bored me to tears. Dyer’s portrayal of the different people he meets on holiday, for example, is hilarious, as is his (very relatable) depiction of procrastination. He also mimics D. H. Lawrence’s writing style to perfection, his own travels mirroring Lawrence’s Sea and Sardinia. However, this reads as what it is – a vanity project. There’s too much Lawrence for those not interested in him, and not enough for those who are. Unless, like me, you have to read this book as part of your uni reading list, I would steer clear.
How long did it take to read: four days
For fans of: Sea and Sardinia by D. H. Lawrence, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger, bad sitcoms
This book tastes like: salt