Saturday, August 20, 2011

Whoohooo let's BURN this candle!

If you know what cartoon I'm referring to with that line, you win a wink.

Anyway, so we've had a busy summer, during which I have largely not been at the computer. I have been reading however, so shall now try to catch myself up with some posts over the next few days. My husband said something a while ago about how my blog posts were mostly me moaning about how bad the post is and how I have no time to blog - but hey, there you are. It's true and I feel sad about it. All the smart thoughts I have in my head while reading, all the associations and connections I make; even if I make notes I can't get it down. Ah well.

Luckily I've been reading nothing too strenous. I had two weeks holiday before we went to Ireland for another two weeks (where we had an absolutely glorious time) and I'd started two new obsessions then: Eric Ambler and Colin Cotterill. Of the two, Ambler is the easiest to spell, so I'll start with him.

So I opted out of describing the storyline and so on in my last post on Ambler, and I think I'll be continuing mostly in that vein. Keeping track of the titles, that's what's important. Journey into Fear so, I quite liked that. About an English engineer who has a little too much information about Turkish arms for the German agents to want to risk leaving him alone. Instead of a cushy train trip home from Istanbul he gets a shot in the hand and a cramped and shabby boat ride across the Mediterranean, all in the hope of evading the killers. I liked that I learnt about Turkish involvement during the War, about hot salt water baths on cruises ... lots of little interesting titbits. I liked that Turkish agents get to be the good guys. Highly unusual these days. I liked that the hero wasn't that great a person morally (both the hero and his girlfriend were a little too goody-goody in Cause For Alarm). Then I read Judgment on Deltchev, written when Ambler was disillusioned with the Communist regimes and all the high hopes he'd had of great political changes. I found this one a little hard to follow to be honest, which is more due to me being on the road (international travelling y'know) than to shortcomings in the book - but there were a lot of names and a lot of mere reciting of facts to form a background. For this reason it was less exciting as a thriller, but surely an effective analysis and put-down of Communist show trials.

I made a note somewhere about something I wanted to quote, but I lost it. I'll definitely read more Ambler, this is so my kind of political thrillers. Short and sweet. Never mind that I can't always follow the story.


JennyB said...

I totally know the cartoon. Do you have a toddler, or are you just a fan of Mater? :o)

bani said...

Wink won! ;)

He's 4½ so not a toddler any more, but he's a fan. As am I, or as have I become I should say...