Read a book to someone you love.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Books & Such

Ah, Wednesdays..
A patron just brought back The Quiet Girl by Peter Hoeg [the Danish author who published Smilla's Sense of Snow about 15 years ago - a terrific novel, by the way, if you haven't read it, except for the ending, which as I recall kind of falls apart and my isn't this a giant digression] and said "I'm not sure I can recommend this. It's just weird. Really really weird. I'd kinda like you to read it so we can talk about it". Well, sure. What librarian wouldn't want a challenge like that? So I've now read the front cover synopsis and you know what? It sounds weird. Really really weird. This should be fun.

We had Mystery Group Monday evening at Bear Pond - talked about Edwin of the Iron Shoes by Marcia Muller [the first Sharon McCone novel] & A Great Deliverance [the first Lynley/Havers et al novel] by Elizabeth George. Terrific discussion, I thought - strong opinions, enthusiastically expressed. And we decided that, for a novel published in 1977, the Muller is remarkably undated. Maybe that's because there's not a lot of 'you-are-there' description - just crisp dialogue & good characters. The only - glaring - exception is McCone's police lieutenant/ future love interest, who persists in calling her 'papoose'. Really, she should've just smacked him one & been done with it [although they do eventually break up, can't imagine why.] The McCone books are a terrific series. Muller's one of the relatively few authors - Bill Pronzini, Lawrence Block, Margaret Maron & Walter Mosley are some others - whose characters actually change believably over time. And can anyone think of anyone else?

1 comment:

gwen said...

I was really struck (not literally, George, thank you) by how believably the characters in Anne-Marie McDonald's Fall on Your Knees transformed over the course of the book. Characters you don't like gradually become sympathetic, and likeable characters become dubious. Especially her younger female characters respond in heartbreakingly real ways to the awful circumstances that are imposed on them.

It came out in 1997, but more recently I think it became an Oprah pick and received a lot of attention.