Reviews

Spadework

Patty Osborne

When Rob and Sheila went away for the weekend, Rob was reading, but not enjoying, Spadework by Timothy Findley (HarperFlamingo). This was Rob’s first foray into Findley and he moaned and groaned about the silly plot filled with actor-worship, and the pretentious writing, characterized by the regular appearance of the phrase “he lighted his cigarette”—in Rob’s opinion, everyone else in the world would have just said “he lit his cigarette.” Sheila tried to get Rob to give up on Spadework and read something he liked but he wanted to stick with it so that when someone asked him if he had read any Findley, he’d have an answer. When he finally finished the book, Sheila asked him if he had ever read any Timothy Findley. “Yes,” he answered, “and I can’t recommend not reading him enough.” Sheila was reading Knit Lit, an anthology of stories about knitting edited by Linda Roghaar and Molly Wolf (Three Rivers Press) and some of them were making her laugh out loud, especially the one about an oversized synthetic orange sweater that acquired the nickname “Big Ugly” and became the mascot of its creator’s office mates. Last winter Sheila had knit an Aran sweater (that’s the one with all the cables running down it) for Rob, and this winter she plans to knit an intricate Norwegian sweater for herself. She reported that the writing in the book was uneven, but that she had got a kick out of it anyway and found inspiration for her next project.

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