Week 3: Sometimes You’ve Got to Get Away

Come along to our Intervarsity Slam Poetry Heat in the GSU common room this Thursday at 7pm, and sign up to our fabulous Week 7 Writing Retreat. In keeping with a week of literary escapes, Chris Joyce has a pile of recommendations in precisely that area. Check it out!

Sometimes you’ve got to get away

Has your love life officially hit the rocks? Did you take a risk on that week old hummus and now you’re seriously regretting it? Are the people in your life making your hand go towards that bottle of six-euro wine? Well, maybe today just wasn’t your day, or maybe this month was just a bit of a bust for you. Perhaps, you’re like me and are seriously considering running away to “An Sean Phobal”. However, even if none of the above are applicable and you feel like life is going great, I invite you take a closer look and you’ll realise you don’t have a clue. I’m not trying to be morbid here, but realistically you have some inconvenience you would rather escape from. With many maladies, in mind, I’ve compiled a list of prose and poetry that will allow you to indulge in that desire to escape. Get ready, it’s time to “loose yourself” (enjoy a cheeky Eminem reference, from someone who has only ever listened to “Stan”)

Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

You may be wondering, what a book like this is doing on a list promoting escapism, when during an enlightenment module you wanted to escape it! However, within its pages are dozens of eloquent and empowering quotations applicable to men and women alike. Viewed as one of the founding feminists Wollstonecraft’s calls women to cast aside misogynistic stereotypes that had become prominent in both literature and life. Wollstonecraft’s treatise makes a powerful argument for the importance of education and virtue; which in light of recent events is quite refreshing. Let this escapism inspire empowerment. It will provide a much needed break from the bigotry of someone who wears an unhealthy amount of bronzer.

The Saga of Darren Shan by Darren Shan

If my listing of maladies struck a chord with you, this twelve-part series could be the perfect remedy for you. At first glance, twelve books, may seem like an undertaking better left for reading week, but I assure you it’s worth the commitment. The saga (and it is one) blends seamlessly from book to book. The eponymous character Darren Shan, will make you forget your troubles as he progresses from twelve-year-old boy, to fully grown man. On his journey, he faces vampirism, death, betrayal and enough tough decisions to ease your deadline panic. Escape your problems as he grapples with a destiny, that will make your current situation look peachy.

If I Don’t Know by Wendy Cope

Perhaps you just don’t know what’s going on and you’re struggling to cope. Cope, whose name I just used for a pun, has been compared to Larkin and Harrison and it is easy to see why. Her poetry ensnares you with its realist standpoint and innovative language. There is simply something for everyone in this volume which showcases her incredible talent, “The Sorrow of Socks”, is a personal favourite. The range of this collection is deeply satisfying, skipping from humour to stress in a manner of pages, whatever you need a break from, there is a poem here for you.

Blindsighted by Karin Slaughter

Murder mysteries aren’t just for poolside holidays. Honestly, why would you need to escape on a holiday? This debut novel by Slaughter provides a terrifying and taunt escape into the world of Sara Linton, paediatrician and medical examiner. Her sleepy town of Heartsdale, is jolted awake as a serial killer stalks its streets. The story is littered with tense moments ending in a shattering climax, it is easy to lose yourself in this gripping tale.

Angus-Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

If your love-life is reeking of instability, I invite you to escape into the angst filled world of Georgia Nicholson. Her primary concern, is trying to nail herself a sex god named Robbie. In her own words “my life is a fiasco and a sham”, and it is easy to see why. Robbie doesn’t want her because she is too young, when she bleaches her hair; it falls out and her sister thinks she is a cat. If that isn’t troubling enough, her nemesis “Slaggy Lindsey” has Robbie’s hand and all Georgia has is a cat called Angus. I am sorry but your life cannot be worse than Georgia’s: she stalks Robbie in a vegetable shop; that’s rough.

Our list has come to an end and you now have five books to delve into. I urge you to enjoy and escape in a manner that would make Robinson Crusoe jealous.