1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Lanark: A Life in Four Books (Canons) (Paperback)
I've just finished lanark and found it very hard work. I kept going through all five hundred and sixty pages of it, but for the last couple of hundred it felt like coming to the end of a marathon: I didn't want to give up but couldn't wait for it to end. I kept going though because it is a well written and I don't like to quit something that feels to be of quality.
I found the two 'realistic' books (in inverted commas because it didn't always feel like such a realistic representation of young people) much more accessible than the two surreal sections. The significance of any of the events in the surreal sections was frankly lost on me. I've heard that there are various references to events in Scottish politics in there, which I know nothing about, so maybe my ignorance of this contributed to my lack of comprehension of these parts, but I don't know. The various things that happen to Lanark such as his skin turning into 'dragonhide', him plunging down a chute into a strange place where he becomes a doctor, then escaping to wander around a zone where the time and space are all warped (sorry if these are plot spoilers), just felt very frustrating to read as I couldn't see what any of it was supposed to mean.
I finished this book feeling that there was something that I just hadn't got about it. It is so well regarded by people I respect such as Iain Banks, Anthony Burgess and suchlike that I felt sorry I was too dumb to recognise its alleged brilliance. Either that or nobody knows what the f*** its about and we have a case of the emporer's new clothes.