2012: 29. Giant's Bread

"It was the opening night of London's new National Opera House and consequently an occasion."

Giant's Bread, Agatha Christie (writing as Mary Westamacott)

Whoo Boy, this is a clunker of a novel.  It's one of the novels that Christie wrote under a pen name - maybe to write something different (i.e. a non-mystery), maybe to prove she could get published regardless.  For whatever reason, she published about six novels as Mary Westamacott.  I've read five, and let me tell you, like her mystery novels, the quality greatly varies.  Which is to say, this book is terrible.  Like, I barely could bring myself to finish it it, and let's not kid ourselves, it's not much of a strain to polish off an Agatha Christie. I can do about one an hour.

Anyway, this is the story of a young man (whose name I've already forgot), who is brought up by a shrewish mother and a sensitive failure of a father - the mother, of course, having MONEY and the father having CLASS.  There is a fading family property, that the mother hates but the boy and the father love.  There is the conflict between art and money both in the parent's relationships, and later, in the boys life.  It's all about oh, being an artist, and being true to one's self and can you be an artist and and a lover.  And there is this weird quasi facist/Ayn Randian tone whenever the characters talk about ART and the TRUE artist.  AND, and this is the first time I have ever read a book that actually uses this plot point in real life, there is (SPOILER) amnesia as a real, honest to God plot point.  It is ridiculous.

Some of the Westmacott books aren't so bad, but there is no reason to read this, unless you are a Christie completist (to be fair, that is why I read it).

Categories:  Fiction, Library Book, Agatha Christie Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017