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2017 50 Book Challenge - Page 161

post #2401 of 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Tough one this. I only got 3 right, and I read a fair bit of crime fiction. Maybe some of you guys can do better.

Quiz - name the detective from the description

Nice. I got 5. smile.gif
post #2402 of 3316
16. Rivers West Louis L'Amour 1975

A young French Canadian foils a plot to make the Louisiana Purchase a separate kingdom, and wins the girl.

Pretty good.
post #2403 of 3316
Clockwise counting 08/50: Georges Simenon - The Saint-Fiacre Affair (1932)

Commissaire Maigret returns to the small city of his childhood. A countess dies of heart attack during mass but the death has been pre-announced as a crime by an anonymous person well before the event. Maigret is surprisingly passive throughout the story and the explanation is gradually unraveled through psychological games played between the most likely suspects. An unusual Maigret mystery which is a bit lacking in atmosphere.
post #2404 of 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

... and wins the girl.

That sorta goes without saying, doesn’t it?
post #2405 of 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found

5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower

Murder on the Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris, #1)Murder on the Eiffel Tower by Claude Izner

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


Murder on the Eiffel Tower is the first in a series of crime novels about a 19th Century Parisian bookseller, Victor Legris. Claude Izner is actually a pen name for two authors who are both Parisian booksellers, so I guess their choice of hero is unsurprising.

The book is set during the Paris Exposition, at the time when the Eiffel Tower was first opened. Victor is asked to write a literary column for a new magazine, just as a series of strange deaths starts occurring. The victims seem to have been stung by a bee and died very quickly. As Victor learns more about this story, he has some disturbing doubts and decides to investigate. The only thing linking these deaths seems to be that the victims all visited the Tower.

The strongest aspect of this book is the way the authors capture Paris during the Expo. They are very effective at describing the impact that this strange new structure, and the Expo overall, has on Parisians and visitors alike.

Unfortunately, Victor is too bland and hapless a character to build a series around; he’s certainly no Rebus, Wallander or Erlendur in terms of character depth. Overall the book is lightweight. For lovers of this genre, where detective and historical fiction meet, I’d recommend Boris Akunin’s Fandorin series instead.


View all my reviews
post #2406 of 3316
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists
2. Acceptance
3. Shipbreaker
4. Winter's Bone
5. Dhmara Bums
6. Istanbul
7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan
8. Holy Bible
9. The Boat

 

9. The Boat

 

This is a collection of short stories that center around feelings of isolation, powerlessness and pressure. Some of them are good (the first one is excellent, and another captures so beautifully the issues with masculinity in rural Australia I was shocked how well Nam Le articulated them), others are a bit beige for me (the story of a man caught between his hit man job, and his friends, in particular, seemed pointless).

 

I didn't mind this collection - but I felt like the writer has strengths he is hesitant to play to - the biographical and the Australian story were head and shoulders above the rest - and I think that if Le explores these settings and memories more broadly he will be an excellent writer. The stories about New York artists, Vietnamese people on a boat, etc, didn't say anything new - didn't really communicate much, and felt languid compared to the others.

post #2407 of 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by California Dreamer View Post

That sorta goes without saying, doesn’t it?

Yep.
post #2408 of 3316
47 The Lost Boy by Camilla Lackberg Why in God's name did I bother, there has to be a better cure for insomnia than this. 10:04 by Ben Lerner arrived to day in the post prior to ordering it I read a number of good reviews.
post #2409 of 3316
17. The Riders of High Rock Louis L'Amour 1951

The first Hopalong Cassidy novel.

Cayouses, palouses, and hombres. Camaraderie and foiled rustlers, but no girls gotten in this one.

Good read, especially for learning WesternSpeak.

I've read 80 of these so far, but I have 20 more to read in my possession, so I think it fair to assume there are more than 100 to read in all.
post #2410 of 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve B. View Post

17. The Riders of High Rock Louis L'Amour 1951

The first Hopalong Cassidy novel.

I neve knew that Louis L’Amour wrote Hopalong Cassidy. I always thought that the Lone Ranger was cooler than Hopalong, and Zorro left them both for dead.
post #2411 of 3316
46 10:04 by Ben Lerner A post postmodernist take on the novel i think. Just the thing to have on your bedside table at the end of the day, interesting bedtime material.
Edited by Geoffrey Firmin - 2/4/15 at 1:58pm
post #2412 of 3316
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
1. A Tale for the Time Being
2. The Sun is God
3. The Keeper of Lost Causes
4. Lost and Found
5. Murder on the Eiffel Tower

6. How to be Both

How To Be BothHow To Be Both by Ali Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Not knowing much about it, How to be Both was a bit of a surprise. The first part of the book is fairly standard contemporary fiction: a young girl, George, is dealing with the death of her mother and confused about her emerging sexuality. Her reminiscences about her mother include a whirlwind trip to Ferrara, Italy, to admire a breathtaking palace fresco painted by a mysterious artist about whom very little is known, other than a written request for a raise from the commissioner of the work.

The first half of this novel describes George’s growing interest in this artist and more about her relationship with her mother, until she arrives at a point where she is sitting in a gallery observing people visiting one of the artist’s works, and experiences a major shock.

Smith then suddenly shifts the ground under the reader’s feet. Suddenly the book is not about George, but about the artist, who both exists in real time observing George (thinking that this must be Purgatory) and recounts details of life in Renaissance Ferrara and the creation of the fresco. As the second half proceeds we see growing similarities between George and the mysterious artist.

The theme of how to be both is played with. Smith tosses up a few candidates for “both", such as sexuality, being alive or dead, past and present, made and unmade. The book is about all of these questions and the potential for ambiguity that is present in them.


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post #2413 of 3316
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoffrey Firmin View Post

46 10:04 by Ben Lerner A post postmodernist take on the novel i think. Just the thing to have on your bedside table at the end of the day, interesting bedtime material.

Have just ordered it from amazon after seeing some very positive reviews. Hope it's as good as advertised...
post #2414 of 3316
Clockwise counting 09/50: C.J. Sansom - Dark Fire (2004)

Another thick and satisfying historical crime / adventure novel. This is the second book in Sansom's series about Matthew Shardlake, a hunchbacked lawyer in 16th century Tudor England. Thomas Cromwell is surrounded by enemies, the ever more powerful Duke of Norfolk and others. He is concerned that he is starting to fall out of favour with Henry VIII and he enlists Shardlake to help him locate a terrible ancient weapon called Greek Fire or Dark Fire (petroleum based fire bombing). In an intricate political game between the leading personalities of 1540 England, a number of people start getting murdered.

Sansom's books are exciting and intelligent with what appears to be very credible descriptions of London almost 5 centuries ago. Shardlake is a sympathetic and unusual hero and the mystery keeps the reader guessing until the very end. Really nice!
post #2415 of 3316
List (Click to show)
1. A Wrong Turn at the Office on Unmade Lists
2. Acceptance
3. Shipbreaker
4. Winter's Bone
5. Dhmara Bums
6. Istanbul
7. On the Trail of Genghis Khan
8. Holy Bible
9. The Boat
10. Collected Stories

 

10. Collected Stories

 

Peter Carey's collected works are, if anything, inconsistent. Several of the stories were fantastic - evocative, beautiful, sharp, interesting. The majority were, however, meandering, pointless, oddly written (mini chapters within a short story makes little sense, especially for stories a page and a half long).

 

Not bad.

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