Every Day, Every Hour
By Natasa Dragnic
Chatto & Windus – £12.99
Where to begin writing about Every Day, Every Hour by the Croatian authoress Natasa Dragnic is anyone’s guess – including quite a few of my own.
Having initially been attracted by what is a clearly fantabulous title, and read assorted reviews – of which the Berliner Morgenpost wrote: ‘’It is rare to find such a beautiful and romantic love story so wonderfully told,’’ the Noordhollands Dagblad: ‘’A charming book about love and the impossibility thereof,’’ and La Repubblica: ‘’[…] masterfully stages the eternal conflict between the power of love and the rules of common sense’’ – I cannot begin to tell you what an utter disappointment this book is.
Having sold in over twenty-five countries, it may well be something of an international best seller; but the whole approach to the subject is so preposterously implausible, so unbelievable, that I found the book almost unreadable.
The thirteenth line on page one of the Prologue may fleetingly beguile the reader with ‘’a waterfall of memories;’’ but, when one reminds oneself that one is fundamentally reading about two children, Dora and Luka (and when I say children, I mean nigh older than toddlers), the following excerpt from page four, really is pristine hogwash of the highest calibre: ‘’… love you only you always you my whole life long you are my breath my heartbeat you are infinite in me you are the sea that I see and the fish that I catch you have lured me into my net you are my day and my night and the asphalt under my shoes and the tie around my neck and the skin on my body and the bones beneath my skin and my boat and my breakfast and my wine and my friends and my morning coffee and my paintings and my paintings and my wife in my heart and my wife my wife my wife my wife…’’AAAggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhh….
Is this not a joke?
Is this not the worst piece of shoddy writing this side of Bernard Manning?
In fact, the above makes Bernard Manning sound like James Joyce; and I refer not to its lack punctuation aka Ulysses.
Unless something has been lost in translation which I very much doubt, such writing is surely, a deliberate stab at the worst kind of comedy writing, written in a very, very, long time.
And there’s me thinking Bernard Manning was bad!
In brief, a breathtakingly bad book.