Monday, April 5, 2010

Another trio: Two Mysteries and an Epic!

Some light reading: Clyde Ford's Precious Cargo, set on the West Coast just below the border -- I've been collecting representations of boats in West Coast literature, and this nicely-written mystery has them in spades. As well, it's got a very likeable detective who happens to be an amateur classical musician whose practise sessions resonated pleasingly for me with the Eric Siblin book I'd just finished on the Bach Cello Suites.

Next up was not so light but very enjoyable -- the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf read during a wild storm, as written about here.

And then over this past weekend, I got caught up in Lee Child's latest-in-paperback, Gone Tomorrow. I'm surprised by how much I enjoy this series, given how much of it is devoted to precisely-articulated descriptions of action, often graphically and disturbingly violent. I find Reacher's character fascinating in his self-sufficiency, I suppose, but also I'm intrigued by the way Child brings foreign policy back onto home soil (well, not my home soil, but still . . . ) and the way he convincingly sketches machinations of government and of politicians at work beyond the visibility of the average citizen.
Part of Reacher's appeal is his irreverence for any authority, often expressed with dry humour. As well, as I mentioned about an earlier Reacher novel, I was pleased to discover that he speaks French, having had a French mother. So here's an exchange I enjoyed in Gone Tomorrow, an exchange between Reacher and men he assumes are FBI:
"Are you Canadian?"
"Why would I be Canadian?"
"The detective told us you speak French."
"Lots of people speak French. There's a whole country in Europe."


  1. Hmmm, I just read my first Reacher novel and I am suitably impressed and intrigued. I found it gripping and interesting, despite the rather graphic violence. Now I am looking forward to more.

  2. Lucky you with a whole stack of Reacher to look forward to! They always keep me entertained and Pater and I have spent some time debating who could play Reacher in a movie. . .

  3. Oh gosh, I'm so envious that you manage to get through so many books! I keep telling myself that ONE DAY I will have more time - right now I only get to read when I go to bed at night, and it's unbearable how long it takes me to get through a book. When I was sick last week, on the second day I was sufficiently recovered to stay in bed and read an Anita Brookner novel from cover to cover. Such indulgence. Such bliss. Almost worth being hideously sick for!

  4. Tiffany: Don't forget that during the week I'm on my own when I get back from work. In lieu of conversations and/or TV, books . . . And I always carry one in my bag to read on the ferry or wherever I end up waiting.
    Glad you at least got to read while you were sick -- that whole trade-off between illness and reading is always tricky, depending so much on the degree of sick . . .