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2014 50 Book Challenge - Page 132

post #1966 of 1977
Congrats Matt. Your effort to get there by reading more Alexis Wright deserves bonus points.
post #1967 of 1977
Originally Posted by clockwise View Post

Congratulations on the 50, LM!
Target for the year 75??


Yeah 75-80.


That being said, I want to read 'The Idiot' and maybe 'Anna Karenena' or 'War and Peace', so we'll see. They might be better suited for the summer holidays.

post #1968 of 1977
Clockwise counting 55/50: Manuel Vazquez Montalban - Southern Seas (1979)

Time to catch up with my reviews. I will post a few in a row, so sorry if I occupy too much of the page. Will try to keep them brief. smile.gif

This is one of the earlier in Montalban's series about private investigator Pepe Carvalho. The setting is Barcelona soon after Franco and the case is a rich widow hiring Pepe to find out the reason for her husband's death. Montalban is an excellent writer and one of the pioneers of Mediterranean Noir. To my surprise, this novel is included in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. I thought The Buenos Aires Quintet but the same author was slightly better but Southern Seas is also an excellent read.
post #1969 of 1977
Clockwise counting 56/50: Pascal Garnier - The A26 (1999)

Psycho-crime in the vein of Patricia Highsmith. A new motorway, A26, is built through the French countryside and in one of the houses along the route lives two dysfunctional siblings. Neat and dark little book with a few meaningless murders. Good story.
post #1970 of 1977
Clockwise counting 57/50: Timothy Hallinan - A Nail Through the Heart (2007)

I love John Burdett's series about Bangkok police detective Somchai Jitplecheep. A friend recommended me to read Hallinan's books about Bangkok crime. This is the first novel featuring travel writer and sometimes investigator Poke Rafferty. Not up to Burdett's standard but nevertheless good entertainment, particularly for those familiar with Bangkok. The bad guys are very nasty indeed and there is a Khmer Rouge angle to the story as well.
post #1971 of 1977
Clockwise counting 58/50: Charles Willeford - The Black Mass of Brother Springer (1958)

A bored accountant and failed writer leaves job and wife in search of his future. He becomes the Right Reverend Deuteronomy Springer, a white priest in a black church during the early days of the civil rights movement in the American South. This is a really good but dark tale. Willeford was incidentally Elmore Leonard's favorite author of crime novels.
post #1972 of 1977
Clockwise counting 59/50: Arturo Perez Reverte - The Flanders Panel (1990)

I was pleased to find a Perez Reverte book of the same class as The Club Dumas. This is a story about a hidden message in a 16th century oil painting and an insane killer who is playing an unusual game of chess with the police. Very entertaining and recommended as a light read within the historical adventure genre.
post #1973 of 1977
Clockwise counting 60/50: Jonathan Lethem - Motherless Brooklyn (1999)

The unlikely hero Lionel Essrog suffers from Tourette's Syndrome and keeps talking nonsense throughout this novel. Lionel is one of Brooklyn hoodlum Frank Minna's men, a group of four orphans who he has mentored and brought into adulthood. When Minna is stabbed to death, Lionel starts investigating the case in search of the killer. This is a farcical and very well written detective story. I liked it.
post #1974 of 1977
Clockwise counting 61/50: Maurizio De Giovanni - I Will Have Vengeance (2007)

The first novel in the series about Commissario Ricciardi, the police who can see the dead. The protagonist is full of sorrow and loneliness and the description of Napoli exquisite. There are five novels in this series and I have earlier read the second. The setting is Napoli in fascist governed Italy in 1931. A world famous opera tenor is murdered in his dressing room under mysterious circumstances. Since the singer is the personal favorite of Il Duce, Ricciardi comes under immense pressure to solve the crime quickly without ruffling feathers. I found this first and shorter novel to be better than the second and De Giovanni to be among the very best in Italian crime fiction.
post #1975 of 1977
Clockwise counting 62/50: Herve Le Tellier - The Sextine Chapel (2005)

Le Tellier is a member of the French literary group Oulipo (Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, "workshop of potential literature"), experimental writers who put certain "constraints" into their writing. The Sextine Chapel is a series of micro-stories about the sex act, presented through 26 people with names beginning with each letter of the alphabet. There is some mathematical mumbo jumbo behind these stories and as must always be the case when describing sex, it's mainly repetitive and mundane, albeit quite funny.
post #1976 of 1977
Clockwise counting 63/50: Carlo Lucarelli - Carte Blanche (1990)

The first in a trilogy about Inspector De Luca, who is solving a murder in a country that is falling apart, Italy at the end of World War II. Just like De Giovanni's Commissario Ricciardi series, this is about police work in fascist Italy. The power politics and the dangers of war come in sharp conflict with the police work and De Luca is a very interesting protagonist, not dissimilar to Ricciardi. A short and exciting book, very well written and highly recommended.

And that brings me up to date with my 2014 reading. I think I am just a notch off pace to reach 100 by year-end. My target is 99, so never mind.
post #1977 of 1977
Was wondering where you went to... Once a voracious reader, always a voracious reader.
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