I’ve Already Forgotten What This Post Is About

I’ve been having a bad time with my attention span recently. Already gnat like, it may now need to be reclassified as more on a par with dust mites or amoeba. I haven’t finished reading anything for a month, but have a number of books which I’m switching between.

I’ve been enjoying Regeneration by Pat Barker, although the experience has been colored by alternating chapters with a re-read of Lord of the Rings. Am I returning the one ring to the cracks of doom, or is this a hallucination brought on by shell shock? Despite the host of differences the two books share something very fundamental in common, and its made me realize that WWI is an intrinsic part of Middle Earth, even if Tolkien denied it. Barker’s novel has some excellent technique I’m intent on stealing.

Started and occasionally returned to is Daughter of Hounds by Caitlin R Kiernan. I’m finding it a difficult read, either because its filmic structure produces a prose style that is difficult to penetrate, or because I’m reading it half a page at a time whilst watching TV and designing a website. I’m terrible at multi-tasking but I do it anyway.

I have my eye on both Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman and of course Spook Country by William Gibson. I read the first chapter of Mr Grossman’s superhero escapade in Borders but I’m on a book purchasing embargo until I finish something. Spook Country I’m nervous about reading because my expectations are so high. I’ve heard good things however.

I feel my attention wandering already so this blog post will have to end now.

Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

2 thoughts on “I’ve Already Forgotten What This Post Is About

  1. I trust you know how much I hate to be pedantic – if not, just ask Lydia – but I really feel it incumbent upon me to point out that the author of ‘Soon I Will Be Invincible’ is Austin Grossman, not ‘Orwin’. Furthermore, there does not appear to be any such author as Austin Orwin, at least according to Amazon, though this should not perhaps be regarded as definitive.

    It may be that this slight – if somewhat bizarre – error is another symptom of the deteriorating attention span which you have identified, or perhaps it is due to another problem altogether. In any event, I regret to say that – as I know all too well from personal experience – it will only become worse with the advance of time.

    With regard to Caitlin R Kiernan, it might help if you were to read ‘Threshold’ first, and naturally my offer to lend you this still holds good. Of course it means abandoning one book and starting another, (though you don’t seem to share my intense dislike of doing this) but at least it doesn’t infringe the terms of your book purchasing embargo. (Incidentally, I’m awaiting a copy of ‘Low Red Moon’, which comes chronologically between the two).


  2. On Orwin / Grossman, I don’t even feel that is a pedantic point. You are right to say it is a consequence of my shriveled attention span. You see…I can’t even get to the end of a name, let alone a book!

    I have edited the name for the sake of accuracy.



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