Rollercoaster Reads…

Rollercoasters have been on my brain rather a lot in the last week. Firstly (and I don’t mean to go on about it) because work has been a real rollercoaster of highs, lows and extremes. Has anyone else noticed that when you are doing 12+ hour days for a few weeks, dreaming about work restlessly all night and then having the small pressure of making a listed building the perfect venue for some high profile businesses, clients and guests that you go a little bit hysterical? And breathe. I am loving it but this weekend I decided I needed to get away from it all and go a little bit bonkers throwing caution to the wind (literally) and so I headed on the train to Blackpool and its Pleasure Beach which is brimming with rollercoasters and their thrills and spills. Amazingly whilst whizzing round them at three times g-force, or something, I thought about books.


This is funnily enough called ‘The Big One’. We of course screamed throughout.

No really, let me explain… There is something delicious, and also rather perverse I suppose, in rollercoasters that is kind of like reading.  You are completely out of control, probably out of your comfort zone, yet you are also in safe hands. Let me tell you some of these rollercoasters are so slick and comfortable it is nicer than riding first class on a train, apart from the speed and possible steep drops or upside down spins and loops hopefully.  Before you start a book you have that slight trepidation of if you will enjoy it and it be worth the time, though with a rollercoaster the ride only lasts 90 seconds max (though queues may last an hour) rather than several days/weeks. Also like books, as you start it you have no idea what you are going to get – unless you look at the POV videos on YouTube and cheat, a bit like turning to the last page maybe – until you get to the end and catch your breath whereupon you feel thrilled/sick/disappointed as illustrated below by myself and my sister who is here on work experience and who I took for a post-GCSE exams treat.

Did we love it, were we thrilled?

Did we love it, were we thrilled?

Basically you go on an escapist journey, hopefully with many ups, downs and thrills and spills on whatever scale. Some people like the full loop the loops, some people like the pink elephants/teacups. The similarity is that you go through something you don’t know if you will enjoy or not but hopefully the outcome is one of a breathless wonderment after whizzing through taking unexpected twists and turns yet with the knowledge (with the perfect books and the perfect authors) that you are in a safe pair of hands even if you are out of control for the duration. Do you know what I mean? Or has the blood whoosed around my head so much I am loop the loop?

So I wondered if you would recommend me your ‘rollercoaster reads’ the one that have really pushed you out of your comfort zone and yet been deftly delivered so the thrills, spill, twists, turns, highs and lows ended up being an utter rush?



Filed under Random Savidgeness

12 responses to “Rollercoaster Reads…

  1. Hmmm, let’s see. I think Moby Dick might count as a roller coaster ride for me. It definitely had highs and lows and giddy moments. I loved Gone Girl for it’s twists and turns. The Sparrow sure had that slow build up start and then OMG whooooooosh to finish feel!
    Yea, I’ll go with these three that I thought of without even that much time thinking about it.
    (Great photo of you and Sis!)

    • Moby Dick just scares me something silly. I don’t like boats you see. Hmmm. I loved Gone Girl too. I must read her others. I’ve heard that they are darker than Gone Girl, imagine. Have you read Pierre LeMaitres Alex? It’s even twistier.

      The Sparrow?

      • Oh – don’t like boats. Can’t help you with THAT. But I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty and enthusiasm of Moby Dick – very surprised. Maybe just read parts?
        Not heard of PLA but will look up.
        and… no to the Sparrow? or you have not yet had the delight of this amazing story?

      • Sorry I meant tell me more about The Sparrow.

  2. Definitely The Night Circus. When I read it last year I felt that momentum pulling me through to each new event and I raced through it. This year, it was the Last Policeman trilogy by Ben H. Winters. I have never rushed through a series so fast, had my heart racing at points and felt so utterly exhausted and spent at the end of each book.

    • I was about to say I have just read The Night Circus but it’s Nights at the Circus I have read. Silly me!

      Ok. This Last Policeman series sounds intriguing. Tell me more…

  3. I was just about to suggest the Last Policeman series! It is fantastic (conclusion comes out on 7/15).

    Also, some of Sarah Waters’s books do this very well: I’m thinking of Fingersmith, Affinity, and The Little Stranger.

    • I have a few Sarah Waters in the TBR! I will get to one soon. Maybe the newest. I haven’t heard of the Last Policeman series… Tell me more!

      • sophronisba

        The funny thing is that I just described The Last Policeman as “a rollercoaster for your mind”!

        There have been two books in the series so far, and the third will be out next week. They are mysteries, but the central conceit is that an asteroid has been discovered that will hit the Earth in about six months, and essentially destroy life as we now it. Winters does a really good job of world-building in this series. The effects of the impending asteroid are well-worked-out and make sense: a lot of people are quitting their jobs and trying to finish their “bucket list”; others are hoarding food and water; etc., etc. The mysteries that each book focuses on are interesting, but less so than the central story of what will happen when the asteroid hits.

        I really couldn’t put these books down while I was reading them, but they also completely freaked me out. Cannot wait for book #3.

      • Ha. These sound brilliant. I am going to have to hunt down the first one.

  4. Sure, I would love to tell you more about The Sparrow. It was a pleasant surprise. Here’s my review:

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