Well, it's been raining overnight here in this driest state in the driest continent, and we've been promised more. So this is what we caught in our backyard overnight, which was quite a lot.
This week I've been reading Reginald Hill's A CURE FOR ALL DISEASES all week. It is unusual for me to spend a whole week on a book. Admittedly it is pretty long - 532 pages - but I'm not reading many pages in a sitting. Some people find a slow down in reading a bit depressing, but it doesn't really worry me - except that it will result in me getting through less books this month.
So what slows your reading down? Here are some thoughts.
- plot complexity - that certainly is true for A CURE: lots of strands, lots of detail, you struggle to decide what is important and what is not.
- changing P.O.V. - this also certainly true - I have identified at least 7 different voices: an email correspondence between a character and her sister; Dalziel's recordings of his thoughts into a portable device; other people's voices on Dalziel's recorder; Peter Pascoe's thoughts; Shirley Novello; Hat Bowler; Wieldy. And there are probably more. Each change of P.O.V. requires the reader to assess the importance of this input and the authority of this voice.
- book structure - the title A CURE FOR ALL DISEASES is subtitled A NOVEL in six volumes. And then each "volume" comes with its own quotation and the reader has to ingest this, and decide whether it is significant. Is the structure important or is it just the author organising himself?
And what is the dedication to "Janeites everywhere" on the opening page of the book all about? And what does the title mean? (I think I know that one, so that's really just a rhetorical question)
- characters and the power play between them. The balance of the Dalziel & Pascoe team has been upset by the fact that Dalziel is supposed to be convalescing from being blown up in THE DEATH OF DALZIEL, and Pascoe is meant to be running the new investigation. But Fat Andy is finding ways to breathe down his neck. And there there is the by-play between the underlings in their team each jockeying for position in a possible new team structure.
- red herrings and the difficulties of identifying them.
The rest of the week: the postings
- Where is your favourite book store?
Mystery Writers of America gave a Raven award to Kate's Mystery Books. I invited people to tell me about their favourite crime fiction book store.
- Female 'tecs - of the British kind
An introduction to Marjorie Fleming, Janine Lewis, Vera Stanhope, Carole and Jude of Fethering, Dorothy Martin, Hen Mallen, Karen Meadows, and Maisie Dobbs, all female protagonists I've met in British crime fiction in the last 40 months.
- ANGELS toppled by OUT
After about 5 months at the top of Amazon UK's Bestsellers in Crime, Thrillers & Mystery, R.J. Ellory's QUIET BELIEF IN ANGELS has given way it seems to OUT by Natsuo Kirino.
- FLOWERS FOR HIS FUNERAL, Ann Granger
A review of this novel I listened to in the car over a period of about 4 weeks while driving to and from work.
- Mission Impossible: more TBR
My "review" pile. I took a photo of part of it. Confirms I am a crime fiction junkie.
- The Power of Blogging: Bloggers Unite for Human Rights
Blogging has become a significant part of my daily life both at work and at home.
- Favourite Author, Peter Robinson
Peter Robinson's 16th novel in the Inspector Banks series, PIECE OF MY HEART, is one of the nominations for the 2008 Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year Award
- The Growth of Mt. TBR
My "library" pile has crept up into the 20s. A list of the titles I have waiting in the wings.
- Forgotten Books (Crime fiction that is)
Inspired by Petrona and Pattinase on a theme called Friday:Forgotten Books I came up with 8 authors who published before 1970 who are worth your attention.
- I really didn't do anything with The Weekly Geeks this week. It was about books I read in my childhood. Too much I thought! Childhood was over 4, and depending on your definition of childhood, even 5, decades ago. Besides I grew up on a diet of Enid Blyton, 19th century classics, every book in the school library, every book in the town library, School Friend, Girl's Crystal, Arthur Mee's Encyclopaedia, Phantom Comics etc etc.. All books were hard covers and quite expensive, on coarse paper, and with grottily small printing.
For all that my evolution into almost solely reading crime fiction has been easily traceable for the last 30 years. Since 1975 I have been keeping a written record of authors and titles that I have read, so I can see the journey I've travelled. For the last 40 months I have been keeping mini-reviews in a database on my computer.
- I decided to remove the list of labels that I used to have running at the foot of my blog because I realised that every time Google "scraped" my page it was also scraping those labels. That meant people were coming to my pages as a result of the Google search because it had picked up a label. If you want to find something now, and can't find it in my permanent list at the side, you'll just have to use the Search box at the top.