Updating the website and may change the way I blog soon, but I’ll be away from blogging for the next two weeks, so a regular update for July.
Too, too hot a month. We got out for a walk in the woods, but it had to be early to avoid the worst of the heat. Now the weather has broken, the rain’s back, but it’s a relief to be free of the heat. Still got garden furniture to paint, because we’ve been repairing and rebuilding a bench, but at last on the final coat. Will be so glad when it’s over.
We never watched Lost first time around, so have been working through the entire series. We’re now in the last season, and so far… well, I can tell why it was so popular when it first ran. Apart from a few quibbles, we’ve mostly enjoyed it. I know the ending disappointed viewers, so it will be interesting to find out whether we feel the same way. If you hate paradoxes, though, the series may not be for you.
Also, watching the third season of The Umbrella Academy. I think my favourite characters are Klaus and Number Five.
One of the most ultimately disappointing series we’ve stuck with has to be The Blacklist. Although, I’ve loved the show, it’s outstayed its welcome and now in season 9… well, spoiler warning: Although any actor may leave a show, when it affects the underlying big reveal, it’s bound to leave viewers feeling flat. I’ve heard (and hope) season 10 will be the last, but if we ever discover who Reddington is, I don’t think it will have as great an impact, and the character of Liz still been around to share in the knowledge.
The Mangle Street Murders, M.R.C.Kasasian
Best described as a black comedy, the novel deals with a series of grisly murders and a seemingly unsolvable crime, but the most criminal thing about the story is the unrepentant and awful personality of Grice — a detective far more cutting than Sherlock and darkly comic because of it. The type of blunt and terrible temperament, one cannot help but laugh at and cringe while doing so. I loved to loathe him, though loathe is too strong a word. The tale’s told through the viewpoint of his ward, March Middleton, and it is as much about her having to put up with Grice as her strength and determination that makes this book amusing. And like any good detective story, there’s a meandering puzzle that only the warped mind of Grice could easily work out. I’ll be reading more of these.
The Sandman (Volume One), Neil Gaiman and cast (audio dramatisation)
Thoroughly loved this. Maybe you need to be a fan of the source material, but this is an enjoyable and faithful representation of the graphic novels. Some purists may not agree, but I feel this added to my appreciation of the books and Gaiman’s work. With a great cast, including Michael Sheen, Andy Serkis, and Bebe Neuwith, James McAvoy is the perfect choice for Morpheus. It’s a lovely thought that this production also brings the story to the blind.
Tell Me Lies, Jennifer Crusie
Seriously well-plotted romance mystery, which I liked and disliked as I read through and ended up loving. The parts I disliked seemed messy — Maddie not acting as I thought any sane woman would, or people forgiving others where forgiveness might be questionable — but by story’s end I realised it worked because people don’t act as they should, life is messy, and maybe we should all be a little more forgiving especially when no one is perfect. I came to love Maddie’s grandmother perhaps the most — her character sums up the essence of the book perfectly, even though at first that doesn’t seem like an endorsement. Many of Crusie’s earlier work is short, still well-plotted, but light fun. This is all of those things and more, showing that imperfection can be okay, even preferable sometimes, not to worry so much about what the neighbours think, and it’s also fine to be occasionally selfish. And how it feels good to stand up to dominating relatives sometimes.
The Curse of the House of Foskett, M.R.C.Kasasian
The second in the Gower St Detective novels features even more grisly murders and a maze of deception that may leave some heads in a whirl. But I’m pleased to say I suspected the right culprit. A fun series, as I had hoped, with more questions raised regarding Miss March Middleton’s past, and Mr Grice’s background. I shall read on.
The Sandman (Volume Two), Neil Gaiman and cast (audio dramatisation)
Perhaps not as enjoyable as Volume One, though I would say the same for the graphic novels, in that I love the earlier volumes more. There’s still much to love here. Also, it’s impossible to have one collection without the other if you enjoy these dramatisations. A special delight was in correctly recognising more voices. I’ve enjoyed these equally much as the graphic novels and only if my arm were twisted to choose one over the other would I opt for the books and give up these. I’m one of those people who can enjoy more than one version of a thing without it detracting from the original.
I’m editing a lot of my older work, mainly short stories to begin, to see what I can do with them, so I have no immediate publishing plans.
Stay happy and healthy!