Trio by: William Boyd
Last week with a determined scowl on my face, I left my almost 9-year-old with my darling husband and set out on my nomadic journey over the London roads. I left my motherly guilt behind and hopped from one tube to the other with a random feeling of freedom in my hair. among my many new year resolutions is my quest to read random fluff books that are chill reads and bring a sense of calm to this restless gipsy sitting on her desk writing for you. As I was aimlessly walking through the streets I stumbled upon a random run-down bookstore where I could smell nothing but the moistness of the weather and that nostalgic smell of paper and ink. I hesitantly peaked inside and realised perhaps I was its second potential customer of the day. I didn’t want to look for heavy writings, just something off the rack that could pick my regular reader tastebuds. Across the edge of a bookshelf was a corner that had a collection of hardcovers and paperbacks that have seen their day of success and were slashed half in price to churn out more moolah than they intended to do so. This lured the Virgo in me, and my pace quickened towards the folds of those complied pages. As I run my fingers through the ignored dusty corner my eyes stuck flat on the catchline, ‘The Sunday Times Bestseller’. With my interest piqued, I let my gaze scroll down and read William Boyd! Well, I liked the name and I like the amount of change leaving my wallet. Moreover, it could satisfy my reader’s cravings that are far away from intellectuality and philosophy of thoughts. The cover was intriguing and satisfied the glamorised cravings of pictorial satisfaction too. I was all set to flip to its back cover. As I was reading the very crisp gist with a red and black backdrop, I got sucked in by the setting that revolved around chaos and adrenaline pumped life of films and how the three individual character developments pan along with one storyline. Through the characters and atmosphere, the author seems to pull the layers away from the idealist approach and highlights the swinging of thoughts, identity, and beliefs. It may be nothing extraordinary in today’s world as we have come a long way, but the interest sets deeper when one reads through lines. Also, remember I was not looking for one. What Kate Winslet once said in the movie ‘Holiday’; “I am looking for corny in life”, sounded so true for me now and I was so ready for it!
The novel ‘Trio’ established in the Summer of 1968, may not sound as interesting as Bon Jovi’s single, Summer of ’69; but it was luring enough for me to read because it was the year Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were assassinated! The turbulent times build a stage tight enough to weave the characters through. The characters Elfrida, Talbot, and Anny may be separate in their identity in the novel, but they all have similarities that connected with my character in real life. In the novel, they seem to be leading their own secret life and so each one of us is in real life. This makes our bond with the plot stronger. I am sure if you have read it or if you are going to read it after, you will find some aspect of their thought development sticking with you. Perhaps that’s what made this book one of the best sellers. Just by reading the back cover, the reader in me wanted to know more for it seemed that the author has tried to bring out a commonality in the public and private life of most of us and relate at least one aspect of our personality and behavioural trait with the developed characters.
Since the story revolves around a film shoot, it depicts its ups and downs in the entertainment world. This pressure results in mixing the personal and public life of these characters, building up a pressure that becomes larger than what can be handled. What may allure you all is who among them will crumble, or will they even do that or will they all crossover? Trio’s crisp writing style and no-nonsense plot development bring about a pace that is fast enough for readers to get engaged, and still has leisure enough to not miss out on any emotional development reaching the point of hope, tragedy, and redemption in one setting. It is difficult for an author to bring a sense of balance between the slowness and fastness of the idea and plot development. What worked for me most was that till the end I was engaged to want to know what come on the next page without it being overly mysterious and detective. Also, as a reader you will not be disappointed for it will very smoothly take you on the mental journey of a human being that you do not know of yet at the end you will realise that that person can be you or any random Tom. You may even ask questions like what one will do if at any point life is not worth living. Will you buckle under or will a part in you make you sail through? For to each is his own…
As I was reading such fiction after a long reader’s block, I suddenly realised that it need not be a heavy-duty eclectic piece of work that makes us writers of excellence or readers of creative excellence. With all due respect to the creative geniuses and thinkers and philosophers, I now, even more, feel that we do need these bestsellers and random engaging pieces of feel-good reads since they touch on a variety of human emotions of sadness, monotony, and humour with fun and frolic, in single flow to make us feel contented, happy, and fulfilled. After this trio of reading, absorbing and penning down my feelings as a reader, I can’t wait to head back to find more love for this reading haven and share my views on much more light reads to bring a sense of relaxation and pure joy back to where it belongs…human mind. Until then, happy reading!