Monday, November 29, 2010

Book finds and Grant Allen

My church's Christmas flea market etc. type thing was this weekend, as every year - always on the first Advent weekend. I held the food stall this year, and didn't browse around that much at all. Found a lovely cocoa tin and three books (that they over-charged me for, with 10 kr apiece - but as the woman in charge of organizing the whole show says: "the bookstall is self-regulatory - if they charge too much they have to carry all the boxes back up to the attic, so they learn quickly to keep it cheap". More bargains next year then!). I got myself an Amanda Cross, a Marcia Muller! which excited me enormously, and a short story collection called Murder for Love, which shows promise. Ed McBain, Donna Tartt, Sara Paretsky and the Kellermans have stories in it. Sadly, so do the Higgins Clarkses. We'll see.

However, the book I've read so far is An African Millionaire by Grant Allen.

I downloaded it to my Aldiko because Grant Allen seemed such an interesting type, on Wikipedia. I'd be most interested to read the books he wrote about, well, women's rights, essentially - The Woman Who Did mostly. But all the Aldiko has is this one, so I took it. It's considered a bit of an early crime fiction too, except it's about a very clever gentleman rogue who over and over fools a South African millionaire and fleeces him for cash. It's at times very funny, but quite dated. I did get a bit bored, but then for me the type of story is old. No doubt it was a great novelty in 1897. I did like the criticism of capitalism in the book - it's quite obvious that Sir Charles Vandrift is a far greater crook and scoundrel than his "parasite", and the barbs are scathing, to mix my metaphors. I bookmarked a few pages though... let's see...

Sir Charles thinks Monte Carlo is not a sound address for a financier's letters.
That's rather funny. Also there's a funny bit on an American and how Americans always emphasise the wrong words when speaking, the most unimportant ones. That's hilarious and still a huge problem in graphic novels, IMO. Oh and this one

For in my humble opinion, for sound copper-bottomed snobbery, registered A1 at Lloyd's, give me the free-born American citizen.

Speaking of women's rights and original opinions, our hero-scoundrel, "Colonel Clay" has two common-law wives. Rather daring, I do say. For 1897.

I'm hardly reading at all right now, I've been so tired I've only tried to sleep on the bus. But I'll have to read my three paper-backs now, so there might be posts soon, and it's almost time for a new book discussion club meeting!


Anonymous said...

Hi, I didn't read any of the books you wrote about in your post, but I'm Vendelle from the LLL forum and promised myself I'd write a little on everyone's blog, so I'll just stick to this very original message: hi! ;)

bani said...

Vendelle, all comments are good comments. ;) Thanks!