Catherine O'flynn The News Where You Are

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    The News Where You Are
    kleinegrauewolke

    kleinegrauewolke

    05. August 2015 um 21:41

    The News Where You Are by Catherine O'Flynn takes place in more or less contemporary Birmingham, and its protagonist is a television news presenter who decides to look into the somewhat suspicious circumstances of his friend's and predecessor's death. But the whole murder mystery plot is just an elaborate conceit, because Frank is really à la recherche du temps perdu. Unlike apparently every other male TV news presenter, he has no desire to move on to bigger and better shows and channels, and unlike his co-host, he does not yearn for investigative journalism either. Frank is consent to cover the local news, to give people a sense of reassurance by covering the familiar, and with being only vaguely recognized when his viewers encounter him in real life. In his spare time, he attempts to protect his father's (an erstwhile famous architect) buildings from being demolished. He also gets obsessed about certain stories he covers, especially those concerning people dying alone and starts showing up at their funerals so that someone is there to mark their passing. He frequently visits his mother (who has moved into an assisted-living facility long before her years), although she appears to neither desire nor enjoy his visits. He even continues to pay for bad jokes written to him by someone who claims to have written good jokes for famous people once upon a time, mainly because he always did and his predecessor did before him. Somehow, Frank has succeeded in marrying Andrea who is an exceptionally grounded person and enjoys poking fun at Frank for having been uncool in his teenage years (and ever after). Together, they have a daughter, Mo. Now, I don't usually like children in literature, but I'm willing to make an exception for Mo. I'm not convinced that she's a very realistic child -- she's more like a wise alien striving to understand mankind's peculiar ways. (My suspicion was confirmed when at some point in the book, she rescues one of her grandmother's old fancy dresses so she can be "a bad robot".) Mo provides a lot of the comical relief in the book, a book which achieves the strange combination of being both funny and melancholy at once. As someone on Librarything wrote, The News Where You Are is "essentially [about] what we do with old things: old people, old buildings, old jobs, old mementos piled in the attic. This is a book about reinvention and demolition and what is involved in choosing one or the other".

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