There are several lists of the 1000 novels you should read before you die. My favorite is the one by Peter Boxall, although he tends to favor the most recent stuff, twenty-first century ultra modern, some of which I find almost indecipherable. Perhaps I’m a Neanderthal.
Nevertheless, I try to read one a month. At this rate, I’ll probably live to a hundred. My most recent effort was August is a Wicked Monthby Edna O’Brien, first published in 1965. It’s a slim volume, an easy Saturday read and was considered racy for its time.
Bored London house wife Ellen, 28 years old, has divorced her husband and lives in London with her eight-year-old son. Apparently, they had a less than exciting romantic life. When her ex-husband picks up the boy for a two-week camping trip, Ellen invites a causal acquaintance over for a long day of languid sex. He’s married and is living with still another woman. But what the heck!
After this venture fails to rev her motor, Ellen decides on a whim to fly to Nice, France. There she hopes for some true sexual excitement, but winds up having encounters with two of the hotel employees, who are pushy, clumsy, and ultimately disgusting.
Later she meets a group of wealthy party-goers who explore the Riviera, beaches, restaurants and a fabulous French mansion. Unfortunately for Ellen she finds herself attracted to the one guy who is not available and winds up sleeping with the oldest man in the group for a totally awful experience. The good-looking Romeo finally towards the end of her trip, pays some attention to her at the beach and much to her excitement beds her.
Thinking she should head home she calls and learns that her son has been killed in a traffic accident and has already been buried, since her ex-husband did not where she was. Broke and shocked, Ellen makes her way back home only to discover that the actor she wanted so badly may have given her an STD. Although it turns out better than she first feared her life has fallen apart. The book ends on this downer.
O’Brien really does a fine job of getting into the mind of her character, including the repulsive aspects of her wandering. The reader will want to get into the book, grab Ellen by the shoulders, and shake some sense into her while she’s in France and then will want to comfort her once she is home. The story is a tragedy in the true sense of the word, but if you’re in the mood to catch up on literature you’ve missed, you can do a lot worse than August is a Wicked Month.
Steve E Clark is a New York Times Best Selling Author of Justice Is for the Lonely and Justice Is for the Deserving. Kristen Kerry Novels Of Suspense. You can purchase his books via his site at www.SteveClarkAuthor.com/BuyBook or request it at your local book store. Want to know more about Steve Clark or read more reviews? Check him out www.SteveClarkAuthor.com
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