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Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 03:54 pm

Philip Roth, The Plot Against America

I blogged about this before but, to say it again here, Cut for spoilersCollapse )

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Ellis Peters, One Corpse Too Many

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:20 pm

Ellis Peters, One Corpse Too Many

Absolutely no memory of what happened. But know I was perfectly happy and absorbed for the entire two or three hours I spent reading it.

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Georgette Heyer, Frederica

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:18 pm

Georgette Heyer, Frederica

Aieee! A Heyer I didn't enjoy! I'll be generous and think perhaps it's because it wasn't in one of the editions I'm used to reading, and the font size was too small, and the comfort of the familiar is an important part of Heyer-reading. Maybe I'll try it again in a 'proper' edition.

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Dorothy L Sayers, Gaudy Night

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:14 pm

Dorothy L Sayers, Gaudy Night

I caught repeats of the Edward Petherbridge-Harriet Walter series, and it really stood out this time how little that adaptation of Gaudy Night made sense (even in the performances are so first-class). So I reread, and they must have taken out about two-thirds of the plot. To the extent that it's practically incomprehensible. Weird.

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Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:08 pm

Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn

The long-awaited return of Jackson Brodie, cop turned P.I. and my latest literary crush, and I was ever so anxious about it, because Case Histories was so fantastic that it would have been awful if this was, well, awful. The start was a bit of a worry - the author is clearly as smitten with her hero as the readership is - and while I was enjoying it hugely it did feel a bit self-indulgent. And then all of a sudden - wallop. A single line of dialogue that pulled the whole thing up another level, and from then on I thought it was terrific. It did all the stuff about east European immigration that A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian was trying to do, only with the complete opposite of the nasty, Daily Mail-ishness that Short History had. And there's going to be a third one, with Jackson in Paris. Am so happy.

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Christopher Logue, War Music

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:05 pm

Christopher Logue, War Music

As it says inside: "An account of Books 1-4 and 16-19 of Homer's Iliad". Oh, it's just brilliant. Like some kind of white and blue lightning flash forward from the beginning of history.

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Rumer Godden, Greengage Summer

Feb. 3rd, 2007 | 12:00 pm

I fell woefully behind with the booklog because during last term. So the backlog reviews are going to be fairly crappy, but I do want to keep the record of (roughly) when I read what.

Rumer Godden, Greengage Summer

I very much like books about the cusp of adulthood, about children beginning to understand and act within the adult world. This was a particularly good version of that story. Also I was reading the most beautiful Folio edition, a tall, slim, green hardback.

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Evelyn Waugh, Work Suspended and Other Stories

Sep. 15th, 2006 | 11:13 am

Evelyn Waugh, Work Suspended and Other Stories

Prompted by conversations I had about Evelyn Waugh at the weekend, and my plan to reduce dramatically the towering unread piles, I picked this up again. I'd read most of it last year, but a couple of the stories depressed me so much ('Bella Fleace Gave a Party' and 'Winner Takes All') that I put it aside rather than read the remaining, longest piece, 'Scott-King's Modern Europe'. Which is a shame, because it's bloody hilarious (in a Decline and Fall kind of way). On the imaginary Republic of Neutralia: a "typical modern state [...] supporting a vast ill-paid bureaucracy whose work is tempered and humanized by corruption". Oh well, it made me laugh.

Also contains: 'Basil Seal Rides Again' and 'Charles Ryder's Schooldays', because everyone fanfics themselves.

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Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis

Sep. 14th, 2006 | 10:25 am

Franz Kafka, Metamorphosis

Hmph, now I feel neurotic and faintly depressed.

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Gwen Raverat, Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood

Sep. 14th, 2006 | 10:25 am

Gwen Raverat, Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood

Thoroughly entertaining memoir of a childhood in 1880s Cambridge by the grand-daughter of Charles Darwin. I spent several happy evenings forcing various anecdotes on Mr A.

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