Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Light reading miscellany

I have got behind on my day-to-day book posting! Not much to say, I guess...

Saw three plays.

The one I liked most was Bellona, Destroyer of Cities, an adaptation of Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren (still definitely a work in progress, and distinctly unsettling as a result of its subject matter, but some lovely moments - it is a strange and unsettling vision of the past and the future).

I didn't enjoy Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson as much as Ben Brantley did, though the acting was very good (Colleen Werthmann is hilarious!) and there are at least four or five extremely clever songs.

A Behanding in Spokane was a great disappointment. Some very funny bits of dialogue here and there; I wasn't sorry to see Christopher Walken live, and I certainly didn't hate it as much as Hilton Als did. But it is only scraps that are really funny, there is absolutely nothing to the play as a whole, and I was also extremely irked by the obsequious laughter that seems to greet even the most modestly amusing lines, whether uttered by Walken or anybody else - I felt more and more stony-hearted and irritable as the play proceeded! I loved The Lieutenant of Inishmore, that's the thing, and I was surprised by how inconsequential this play seemed in comparison (I do not think McDonaugh can yet write American dialogue as well as he writes Irish).

I read four more Jacqueline Carey novels (books 4-6 of the Kushiel series, and then Naamah's Kiss - have rejected three other books of hers as not so much to my taste, but alas, this means I am now caught up to where she actual is in the series, I cannot get Naamah's Curse until it is actually published in June!

Then I read three novels by Arnaldur Indridason that I am too lazy to link to separately. These are very good, really thoughtful and beautifully composed - I like the use of flashbacks - though I think his character development is relatively thin. Especially compared to Deon Meyer, whose characters burst off the page in their complex vitality (not the female villains so much, but the male detectives): I really liked Dead Before Dying very much indeed, but I think Devil's Peak is even better.

There is no doubt, however, that crime fiction does not repay binge reading the same way that epic fantasy or historical fiction does - you do no violence to Dorothy Dunnett by reading 13 books of hers all in a row, but if I read three Erlendur mysteries in a row the author's tricks start to seem a little bit threadbare, even if they are good tricks!

1 comment:

  1. My cousin's name is Na'ama (same name, I'm guessing, just different spelling in translation from Hebrew) and I've never encountered it anywhere else besides the Bible! (Sometimes I feel like I am one of those commenting groupies I always raise an eyebrow at on other people's blogs, though then again I did love my own few commenting groupies...)