4 September 2008

Tan Lines

There are three programmes on TV that I can’t bear to miss at the moment - The Secret Millionaire, Who Do You Think You Are? and Don’t Tell the Bride. Obviously I am still addicted to Midsummer Murders, A Touch of Frost, Wire in the Blood, Without a Trace and any and all of the CSI’s – but am happy to record them all and watch them at a later date.

TV is weird I think. There was a time when I would watch as many celebrity (!) reality shows as you could shake a stick to. I would watch every cookery programme, every home DIY thing, and almost any show involving sex in any form.

Like music. There was a time when I would only listen to jazz. Another time when it was all about the hip hop. Classical took its turn for a while, as did R&B, Rare Groove and even a touch of Opera. (Never The 60’s I hasten to add).

But I think I’ve only had five distinct phases in my book reading life. (I don’t count books that were read to me when I was a kid for a couple of reasons – but mainly because I don’t really remember them (except Where the Wild Things Are?, which I still love today)).

So, I believe my first phase started when I was about 9 or 10 with the complete works of Agatha Christie, moved onto the likes of My Sweet Audrina , and Kane and Able, when I was about 13, Jackie Collins and books of that ilk from about 16 or 17 for the next 10 years or so, and now chick lit. It has been one of my best friends. At times I get very frustrated with it; even (dare I say it) a bit bored now and again. But I love it from the bottom of my heart. I will defend it to the death. And even when I am old, grey(er) and smell of wee, I will still have it by my side. Now and again though, I am unfaithful and I see other friends. I know, I know. But like people, we can’t get everything that satisfies us from just one human being. We need a plethora to tap into the different characteristics, interests and passions within us. I have been known to wander into crime on occasions. I’ve done some mass market general fiction. The odd thriller. I’ve even been known to skim read the odd non-fiction title….

It will came as no huge shock therefore to report that I enjoyed Tan Lines more than is strictly necessary.

Sometimes I don’t want to have to think when I read. I don’t want to be challenged by language and grammar. I don’t want to be stretched and educated. I just wanna have a laugh, been titillated a little bit, be entertained in short sharp spurts and close the book at the end thinking “excellent”. Tan Lines delivers on every level with the main characters Liza (feminist writer), Kellyanne (beautiful wannabe actress) and Billie (off the rails rock chick) and their adventures during a summer share in the Hampton’s. With bags of hoo-hars and to-dos, a dollop of sex, drugs and rock and roll, some stalking, a gay husband, a randy old sugar daddy and a gorgeous crab fishing surfer dude – its great fun, and very reminiscent of the Queen of the Bonkbuster – Jackie Collins.

For what it is, its great - if only the author hadn’t have rushed through the ending in five minutes flat I would have given Tan Lines a 10 out of 10.

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