Thursday, January 21, 2010

"The Girl with Glass Feet"

Ali Shaw graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English literature and has since worked as a bookseller and at Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

He applied the Page 69 Test to The Girl with Glass Feet, his first novel, and reported the following:
Below is page 69 of The Girl with Glass Feet in its entirety. Being the last page of a chapter, it’s pretty short. In it we catch the central character, Midas Crook, finishing his breakfast.
He sat there and poked his bacon while she was gone. This was a big deal. A very big deal. He looked down at his camera and wondered if it had got him into this as some kind of jealous punishment for spending too much time thinking of her. Yet he was relieved that he might still get his chance to photograph her with her consent.

He closed his eyes and felt some happiness for that, set as it was against the unsettling idea that she was turning into glass.
This moment – this chapter – marks a turning point for Midas. He’s a photographer who has lived for too long an isolated life, with only his camera for company. As such he’s unwittingly started to personify the device. He has a tendency to chat to it when he’s alone. But now he’s met a girl, Ida, and is starting to feel something towards her. The complication is that there’s something terribly wrong with her, and he’s going to have to come to terms with that as well as his nascent romantic feelings.

Although I wouldn’t say it’s particularly representative of the tone of the novel, what’s interesting about page 69, as opposed to page 68 or 67 and so on, is that it precisely marks Midas’s realisation, as he expresses it, that what’s happened to him in the previous pages equates to ‘a very big deal.’ It’s the turning point where the plot is set up and he finally understands the mess he’s in.

From page 70 onwards he’s going to have to start dealing with it...
Read an excerpt from The Girl with Glass Feet, and learn more about the book and author at Ali Shaw's website and blog.

Visit the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue