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Murder, dance girls, rambling stone

I'm not going to post non-fiction books (for the simple reason that I don't usually bother writing any comments about them), just fiction and perhaps some biographies etc. You can see my progress also in my livejournal even if you're not a friend.

1. Dead Man's Folly - Agatha Christie (1956) 3 / 5
While organizing a murder mystery game for a village festival, an inescapable feeling of dread settles on crime novelist Adriane Oliver. In desperation, she summons her old friend Hercule Poirot. Her instincts are proved correct when the “pretend” victim is discovered with an all-too-real rope wrapped around her neck. The two sleuths soon discover that in murder hunts, whether mock or real, everyone is playing a part.

2. Wise Children - Angela Carter (1991) 2 / 5
On their 75th birthday, we meet Dora and Nora Chance, former dancers and illegitimate twin daughters of one of Britain's leading theatrical actors. They relate their colorful and amusing family history as the novel unfolds, describing their often strained relations with the legitimate branch of the family.

I can't say I liked it that much. The narrator did give us some funny moments but I personally couldn't get inside the characters as well as I would've wanted. Because the Chance sisters did seem really spicy and interesting girlies.

3. - 5. Gormenghast Trilogy - Mervyn Peake (1959) 5 / 5
A doomed lord, an emergent hero, and a dazzling array of bizarre creatures inhabit the magical world of the Gormenghast novels. At the center of it all is the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, who stands to inherit the miles of rambling stone and mortar that form Gormenghast Castle and its kingdom, unless the conniving Steerpike, who is determined to rise above his menial position and control the House of Groan, has his way.

I didn't think I would finish these so quickly but once I got inside the castle the walls started to close me in. I smelled the dust on the floor and saw the deep colour of Fuchsia's dress and everything real disappeared. Not for readers who only care about the plot. Be prepared for vivid characters within a touching distance.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Mervyn Peake has the most glorious flair for word play that I've ever encountered... I loved Gormenghast!
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Yes, exactly! That's why I'm a bit sceptical towards the mini series. How can anyone possibly transfer the genius on screen when it's obviously about the words. But I'm going to watch it someday anyway.
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I saw the mini series first, a long time before I read it, but it was very good and inspired me to read the book in the first place. The world play and the characters transfered to the screen very well and, though it clearly lacks a lot of the insight, it's as faithful as it ever could have been... in my opinion anyway.
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:43 pm (UTC)
That's good to know, thanks. Visually it seems to be really good so I guess I need to consider it now even more.
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:35 pm (UTC)
Hey, you just read three of my favorite books!! Except, i felt the opposite of you about Wise Children and Gormenghast, i found Wise Children immediately drew me in, and Gormenghast took a little work.
Feb. 14th, 2009 09:38 pm (UTC)
They're completely opposite and I'm usually drawn into Gormenghast type of thing but Wise Children had a nice story despite everything :) And yes, Peakes word use is sometimes overwhelming but it was definitely worth it.

Edited at 2009-02-14 09:39 pm (UTC)
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:42 am (UTC)
The thing I find about Gormenghast is that the third book is nowhere near as good as the first two. I actually left a gap between the second and third of about a month when I read them first, and I'm glad I did. They are *so* different that I think it would have disappointed me drastically if I hadn't done that. I think it's because the first two are about the place as much as anything and the third is much more about a person.
Feb. 15th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC)
Yes, I noticed that too. I mean, it wasn't bad but it's easy to distinguish from the first two. It would have been interesting to see what the third installation could have become if Peake hadn't been dying.
Feb. 15th, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, it would have been good. You can sort of track his mental deterioration in the books, I always feel. It's a shame; he was an excellent writer.
Feb. 15th, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
True. Frustrating when we didn't get the final version from an absolute genius.

Edited at 2009-02-15 08:15 pm (UTC)
Feb. 15th, 2009 12:18 pm (UTC)
Have you ever read anything else by Angela Carter?
Feb. 15th, 2009 07:01 pm (UTC)
No, that was my first one. I don't think I'll be trying anything else for a while either since my to read pile is growing every minute. But if I do I'm probably going to try The Bloody Chamber. I've heard so many good reviews about it and it may be more interesting than this one.
Feb. 15th, 2009 08:05 pm (UTC)
The Bloody Chamber is excellent. The Magic Toyshop is good too, from what I remember of reading it 8 years ago, but my general impression is that she's better at short stories.
Feb. 15th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
The Bloody Chamber is more of the type of thing I read anyway so I'll may try that someday. Wise Children was an assigned reading for the university entrance exam so I wasn't interested in it in the first place.

Edited at 2009-02-15 08:14 pm (UTC)
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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