Now, I still can't say Christie's my favourite. My previous grumbles do stand, but I'm warming to her. She's uneven though, isn't she? I still find it difficult to guess the killer, which I put down to needing more information than what is given. I am probably in the wrong, since I admittedly don't read carefully enough. Anyway, brief notes below based on memory alone - I'm writing this post in mid-September and half the books were read in mid-August.
I have, of course, loved the film since childhood, and I remember my cousin (who introduced me to it) saying that it was based on this book, and she'd heard that the ending was actually really sad and that the spells wore off so Wesley died and Buttercup returned to Humperdinck. I am very grateful that the ending isn't quite so sad. More ambiguous. This is funny, entertaining, and clever. I don't know what I'd have made of it as a child/teen, if I could have appreciated the way fact and fiction is melded; Goldman writes as though he's adapting an original novel, written by S. Morgenstern, and the book is riddled with notes on what Morgenstern's (boring) original is like, why Goldman is cutting those bits out, loads of commentary on Goldman's own private life (all lies), and this edition has the epilogue where Goldman is bypassed by Morgenstern's estate for the sequel in favour of Stephen King. It's just brilliant. I think I'd have swallowed all the lies, until clocking (being a European after all), that there are no such places as Florin and Guilder. The question is how long it would have taken me. I was confused even now, as an adult. Awesome.
Benny and Omar: This was fun to read, but I don't know if it's very good, really. It reads like Colfer went to Tunisia and thought he might make a book out of that, but not like a tonne of research went into it. It was funny to read while in Wexford and hearing the "syrupy accent", that the Tunisians fail to recognize as English, live.
The Detection Club: Anthony Berkely, Milward Kennedy, Gladys Mitchell, John Rhode, Dorothy Sayers and Helen Simpson. Each writer (except Rhode who writes the general set-up first chapter and a concluding one if I remember correctly) wrote a chapter featuring another writer's favourite sleuth. This is a highly entertaining premise if you are accquainted with said sleuths already so you can appreciate the jokes even better - but sadly I am not. I've only read Mitchell and Sayers out of this lot (I borrowed the book because of Sayers, obviously). Frankly I was bored to tears by the end when Rhode worked through the "true" solution. Sayers's bit was very good though. It's worth reading the Goodread's reviews on the book, by the way. The preface in this edition is by Agatha Christie, but was originally written for a Soviet magazine or something so it's not book-specific. (Any mistakes in facts now are due to me having to return this book before writing any notes - someone had put in a reservation for it at the library. Imagine!)
Aaannnnddd finally a Marian Keyes I picked up on a whim. This novel must have been written during her latest bout of depression. It's very sad in places, very moving. Unfortunately also a bit uneven. The story doesn't hang together all the way. I wonder why these aren't being filmed? If this was a Swedish writer in Sweden the film deals would have come so fast, you guys.
She should allow herself to not have to be funny, I think she could write a better book. That said, the depressing paint scheme of the missing singer's house is hilarious! I found a quote on Goodreads so I'm pasting it in here, since I don't have the book anymore: “He'd done his walls with paint from Holy Basil. God, I yearned for their colors. I hadn't been able to afford them myself but I knew their color chart like the back of my hand. His hall was done in Gangrene, his stairs in Agony and his living room--unless I was very much mistaken--in Dead Whale. Colors I personally very much approved of.” Paint colours for the depressed!