New York Magazine recently asked me and 60 other writer/critic types what is the most unsung novel of the past ten years. People are always asking me what to read, as if there isn’t enough reading material on the left hand column of this blog to keep them busy. But for those who have already availed themselves of these selections and wish to re discover the pure pleasure of a writer intent on giving pleasure rather than delivering a message, please read the book I picked for the New York Magazine survey: John Lanchester’s The Debt to Pleasure. I guarantee you will be grateful to me. I suddenly feel evangelical about it, which is why I’m putting in a blog pitch for it as well. Perhaps because it gives one a taste, an echo some of the same kind of sensual pleasure that the most pleasurable novel I’ve ever read–Nabokov’s Pale Fire–offers.
But have you ever had the experience of reading prose with the synesthesia like pleasure of a ripe peach. The Debt to Pleasure is like that. I dare you not to love it.