Tuesday, 31 January 2017
Saturday, 14 January 2017
I've just finished England Made Me by Graham Greene and am so shaken by
It was a strange read, and reminded me of The Evenings by Gerard Reve in that
it built a formidable tension in a seemingly static setting.
England made me is introspective, slow in action although I now know it was a
false sense of slowness, Greene had caught me so intensely into the internal
dialogues & tragedies of each character that I failed to hear the ticking
of fate's clock. So when the clock did strike, I was caught totally unawares,
and as in life, with hindsight I can see that Greene had given all the clues.
Not one of this novel's character was flat or neglected, each was beautifully
studied, particularly the relationship that binds twins, whether they like it
or not. .
If you prefer action packed and fast-paced stories you might feel a little
impatient with this story but if you can handle slow for 200 pages, then a
deeply affecting novel awaits.
Warning: if like me the weather in novels really affects you, be warned that
this story in set in Sweden under the rain, so prepare a hot water bottle &
Saturday, 7 January 2017
Thanks to a strike today, I read Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the dog in the night-time in one day, in strange & successive sittings (at home waiting for the tube, at the tube station, in the interrupted tube, in the bus, in the second bus because the first bus cancelled stations due to the strike, in the third bus and finally in front of a strong coffee!)
And what a fresh, surprising & serious read it was.
The story is told by 15 year-old Christopher who has Asperger's syndrome. After Christopher finds Wellington the dog murdered, he decides to find the killer. He writes a book of his investigation keeping a record of clues & events to solve the case as if it were a mathematical formulae. Christopher is so logical and truthful that he will find coping with the secrets & lies he will unearth a thorough challenge. .
This novel is a tribute to those who think differently but who are not different than anyone else.
I did find the maths style a little trying towards the end. But that maybe because I'm rubbish at maths & was getting frustrated with the commute situation. A wonderful, inspiring read.
Thursday, 29 December 2016
Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi translated from the French by Shaun Whiteside.
This #crimenovel is set in France in Giverny, the village in which Claude Monet painted until his last. The crime is linked to this part of the village's history & it was the main reason why I picked it up.
But! O' the disappointment... I can't remember when I read a #detective fiction driven by what I'd qualify as the most idiotic and cowardly inspector there is in the history of my reading, and the novel is not even a comedy.
The story can be divided into 3 parts:
1- a very good, somewhat gripping first half if you excuse the caricatural charmer & thoroughly lazy main character, Inspector Sérénac.
2- an abysmally constructed and nonsensical turn into the events that will lead to the resolution of the mystery.
3- the truth revealed which is actually very good but has nothing to do with the first half.
It's not easy to play with time lines in a story, to go back & forth in time, and be there-and-not at the same time. This is why this novel ended up such a mess, this is a case of "Inception" gone wrong.
I am ranting but I did enjoy the first half, I wish someone would pick it & write the end, and that someone else would write the beginning of that very interesting last part. Two novels in one, none completed.