Yes, I know it’s September. I should have posted this last week, but I’m slightly late as we were away visiting family.
The Bullet Trick, Louise Walsh
I’ve read one of Louise Walsh’s books before (though the title escapes me) upon recommendation. I recall not being taken with it. This book I enjoyed more. The writing is slick and I like the way the story jumps back and forth between settings and time. The big reveal, not so big, but an enjoyable, cosy thriller. One I liked for the writing and presentation more than the plot.
In the Place of Fallen Leaves, Tim Pears
Felt myself falling into this story almost right away, certainly by the start of the second chapter. The writing is lyrical, creating images and imparting information in an intricate weave. It’s a book without a plot, though; more a memoir in tone than a story, an exposition of events over a long, hot summer in Devon, sometimes grave, other times sad and humorous. Not one to speed through.
The Girl Next Door, Jack Ketchum
This book is hard to review objectively. On the one hand, it borders the type of horror termed as torture porn. On the other, and in a part precisely for that reason, I’m sure it does what it intends to do. It provokes emotion and, I hope, for most people, in the right way, making the reader uneasy. Ultimately, I wasn’t able to forgive anyone, not even the protagonist. There’s something voyeuristic in the reading, speaking to the part of human nature that wants to put the book down. Yet, like watching a train wreck, another part wants to discover the outcome. Wants justice. Retribution. Wants to ‘do something’, to act, particularly as this is based on a true story — the book’s real saving grace as it highlights the plight of all abused children, spiking the guilty nerve of anyone who doesn’t want to get involved. The book is confrontational and unsettling in so many ways that it questions the causes behind my very dislike. The book is terrible, and in that possibly achieves its purpose, creating a conundrum both excellent and dreadful. It’s a repulsive grim read that’s hard to turn away from or dismiss, though I’m positive not everyone who reads this will have the same experience as I did. I dislike this book, but that’s okay — I shouldn’t like it — but I appreciate it as a job well done: vile but emotive because of that. Still, I didn’t know at the time that the surviving family never wanted this book published. Had I known, I probably wouldn’t have it.
If you’ve ever seen Tarantino’s work, you know you’ve got to have a stomach for violence, but one of his less violent and surprising films was The Hateful Eight. There are a few graphic shootings, but most of the film comprises long drawn-out conversations. We found it interesting, surprised how fast an almost 3 hour film passed, but I can see where it will send many to sleep.
Been catching up on Doc Martin, a series I’ve always liked, but I don’t get what the creators are trying to do with the character in season 7 with the dog story.
SPOILER: Even if it would be a part of the character’s mental condition, this is fiction and even if they turn it around, it can never be forgotten or forgiven. When he was merely irritated with the dog, it was mildly funny. When he dumped the animal at the side of the road, his actions became more questionable. When he tried to kill it, the game was over. Way to go, making me hate the character. If I were his wife, Louisa, it would be an instant divorce. I’ll stick with the series, but this storyline has made me dislike the MC and even the inhabitants of the village, as no one seems to want this poor homeless dog. Saying that, the end of Season 8 has the best line possible.
I’ve already mentioned in another blog post I made the hard decision to remove some of my titles from circulation.
I also returned the galley proof of A Not So Hollow Heart and received the cover. Amazingly, there were no errors, though there is one issue where house-style has determined the use of US punctuation in an otherwise UK setting, UK characters, UK spelling and punctuated book.
And lastly… I have something I want to tell you but can’t… yet. It may not happen and if it doesn’t, I’ll no doubt just let you know ‘no joy’. I’m terrified to even mention it.
Until the end of the month… Happy Reading!