The novella Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age is written as a single (unfinished) sentence! Long sentences that run for pages are not my usual cup of tea. I still remember how daunting it was to read Gabriel García Márquez’s (he is one of my favorite authors) The Autumn Of The Patriarch. And that is why I have been putting off reading Will Self’s Umbrella, a book that has been sitting on my TBR pile forever! But for Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age, probably because it is told in the form of many different stories, that writing style works.
The narrator (who might have been inspired by Hrabal’s uncle, Pepin) is a man in his seventies, and the entire novella is his drunken ramblings to a group of young ladies in a pub. The narrator had first been a soldier, then had left the army to become a cobbler. Later in his life, he had entered the brewery business. So this novella is made of a lifetime’s worth of stories, including anecdotes about wisdom gained through his professions, and mostly about love conquests and failures for he is a seducer who “can’t resist the charms of a beautiful woman!”
I was thoroughly amused and entertained by Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age. It was refreshing to read a book that doesn’t conform to the normal writing style, and actually end up enjoying it! 🙂