Notes on a Scandal, part 1

Jumping the gun here because I haven’t finished reading this yet BUT I just had to mark my enjoyment of this book by a mini-post about the language used in this slender, satisfying novel. Am I the last person on earth to read this book? Published in 2003, the movie (I saw) came out in 2006. I’ve been hearing Zoë Heller’s name about for years but never took care to find out more about her. I only discovered this book via googling her because of her negative review of Rushdie’s recent memoir (more on that later. It lies on the floor beside my bed, like a patient dog.)

I would bet money that Zoë Heller carried around — for years —a small notebook (Moleskine perhaps, do they have those in England?) in which she jotted THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WORDS SHE CAME ACROSS. And then, she developed a fictional character, one Barbara Covett (ha ha, nice subtle surname there) to be the cipher (I know this is the wrong word but I’m moving fast) of all this verbal gorgeousness.

Words like: insouciant, parenthesis, orthodoxy, duress, soubriquet, calumny, lugubrious, bonhomie, imbroglio, glut, concupiscent, salacious, ribald, fecundity, ersatz and riposte.

I have nothing negative to say about this book, nothing at all. If anything, it will be that it will end and it’s just a slender slip of a thing I know the end will come too soon. I am definitely going to be reading more, she’s wonderful.

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