Wednesday, August 29, 2007


My father died the Friday before last. We weren't close for various reasons, so it's mixed emotions. I will however be busy for a while, so the lack of updates will be for a good reason. For a change. Directly after this I'll post an entry I'd saved to work on though, but after that things'll probably be a bit quiet...

Monday, August 20, 2007

3 for the read of 1

Another little trip to Hågaby a while ago (for a haircut) yielded some more second-hand loot. Although I don't think all of these three came to me then, some are older...

P.D. James: The Lighthouse

I'm fondest of the early P.D. James, with the retro feel and the angsty Adam Dalgliesh. In these later ones we spend a lot of time with his underlings, in particular Kate Miskin, and I'm not sure I like that. Not that Kate Miskin is bad or anything. I think the problem is that I think it's going to be a Dalgliesh novel, and it isn't really. At least not solely. I've read another one a good few years ago and I remember being very disappointed. It felt as though James was desperately trying to bring herself into the new century without really being connected anymore. That isn't a completely fair sentiment, but it's not without merit either.

This novel I rather enjoyed though. A famous author is found dead on an isolated Cornish island that for many years has been a hideout for VIPs who wish to have complete privacy and solitude. Dalgliesh is flown in in an attempt to solve the matter more discreetly and possibly save the island as a getaway. It's enjoyable on the whole, but our villain turns out to be a character who in all honesty doesn't fit into this day and age. James realises this herself though, and he is descriped as an anachronism.

Faye Kellerman: Milk and Honey

A Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus mystery, set in the time before the couple marry, while Decker is still adapting to Judaism and Rina is torn between loyalties to her dead husband's family and new love of Decker. I quite like these books, and am a bit surprised that they're not more known. They certainly give a lot of other stuff on the market a run for their paper-back money.

In this one Decker finds a toddler in the streets late at night, soaked with blood but unharmed. When they find the baby's family they discover a tragedy, but it takes some time to find the guilty party. IMO Kellerman succeeds quite well in portraying the baby's redneck Californian family in a believable way (not being Californian I'm not really qualified to comment of course). I also like that Decker and others are allowed to be complex characters and not merely stereotypes.

Michael Crichton: Timeline

One of the worst Crichtons I've read. The trouble with this is that it's obvious that Crichton's done some reading and found out that them there mediaeval peeps weren't all that backwards after all, and actually they could fight, did you know? and on this he bases the whole book (with some almost-all-there science of course). Being scientifically ignorant I can buy the science part just fine. He keeps it difficult enough to fool me. (Unlike Dan Brown.)

This group of archaeologists get to go back in time, because time is just an alternate universe, and then they it's all a computer game in which they run run run from death until they can go back. Not unlike Jurassic Park actually, but it really doesn't work when people are the villains. Even 13th century ones.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

I added a counter.

Inspired by HB. I suspect it will look very pathetic, but on the other hand this one is just on trial until end of August. One week of statistics is not enough to depress, surely? ;)

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

So, we were on holiday, then we came back, and I haven't had a proper chance to sit down and gather my thoughts. But I'd better try to collect myself or I'll have such a HUGE backlog...

The last Harry Potter - the end of an era. I've read them all, but I was never a hardcore fan. I got into them quite late, mostly to see what the fuss was about - possibly to read the book before I saw the film (I'm that kind of nerd). I've often been obnoxiously aggressive in company and claimed that they are highly overrated, and I will maintain that they are seriously flawed in many ways until my dying day... but over the years I've mellowed and can appreciate the good bits - these being Rowling's at times quite witty imagination. The names of characters are a particular favourite of mine, especially the Herbology teacher (a stand-in) with the double-barrelled name and the "don't you know"-s. I'd check her name but Mugglenet is too slow.

I compare all fantasy to Tolkien, and not much can compare. LOTR is of course special as it was written as one book and therefore is much more cohesive. It's quite obvious to me that HP is made up as she goes along, and that makes the secondary universe much less believable.

However, I can tell that I will shortly be interrupted, so I'll start summing up. The final of the series delivers, but also disappoints. As adults we might have appreciated something a bit darker, but it is, essentially, a children's series so I suppose it's good that things weren't too dire for the wizards and witches we know and love. It was rather a trudging read, with some "deus ex machina" solutions that felt contrived. Yes, I cried. Once. I quite enjoyed it though, the mr was annoyed with it but I was mellow and accepting for once. Of course, it MUST be read.