A Book & A Beer – The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

Not too many books with Pericles, Prince of Tyre as a character nowadays but Mark Haddon reaches back to Shakespeare for the weird, The Porpoise. Now, I usually like interwoven stories, stories that span time frames, multi-character arcs and the like. But this story veers away from the opening line and slowly becomes a re-telling of Pericles but with a few names changed (for whatever reason Thasia is now Chloe) and some of the action re-imagined. As if a Hollywood screenwriter had adapted the play but didn’t want to 100% mimic it.

There is also a very weird Dead Shakespeare interlude with another writer of the time that comments on Pericles but says nothing really about the story that we started with. And then the book just ends. SPOILER ALERT – Haddon sets fire to a house and just kills off the main characters that were abandoned a 1/3 of the way into the book. I could totally see a modern take on Pericles but this is not it. Most of the time it just meanders like a boat lost at sea.

Now, I could be extra glib and say for a beer that you should find the worst one in your ‘fridge and leave it at that but I think it better to pick up something aquatic related. So something from Pelican Brewing in Pacific City, Oregon might work. Like their Doryman’s Dark Ale for the twisted turns in this book or you could go sour for the taste in your mouth reading this with SeaQuench from Dogfish Head.