Sunday, 15 September 2013

Writing - What did you read on holiday?

I don't know about you but when I go on holiday I read as well as all the other things you do, like sunbathing and eating and drinking too much. I completed two books while in Canada this year the first being the above by JK Rowling under the Galbraith pseudonym. 

A mystery in a classic vein: Detective Cormoran Strike investigates a supermodel's suicide.
After losing his leg to a land mine in Afghanistan, Cormoran Strike is barely scraping by as a private investigator. Strike is down to one client, and creditors are calling. He has also just broken up with his longtime girlfriend and is living in his office.

Then John Bristow walks through his door with an amazing story: His sister, thelegendary supermodel Lula Landry, known to her friends as the Cuckoo, famously fell to her death a few months earlier. The police ruled it a suicide, but John refuses to believe that. The case plunges Strike into the world of multimillionaire beauties, rock-star boyfriends, and desperate designers, and it introduces him to every variety of pleasure, enticement, seduction, and delusion known to man.

You may think you know detectives, but you've never met one quite like Strike. You may think you know about the wealthy and famous, but you've never seen them under an investigation like this.

I enjoyed the read and the lead character is well constructed and believable. The story is interesting but for me offered little that was innovative.

The second  book I read could reasonably described as the first ever detective novel - 'Moonstone' by Wilkie Collins.

The Moonstone (1868) by Wilkie Collins is a 19th-century British novel, generally considered the first detective novel in the English language. The story was originally serialised in Charles Dickens' magazine All the Year RoundThe Moonstone and The Woman in White are considered Wilkie Collins' best novels. Besides creating many of the ground rules of the detective novel, The Moonstone also reflected Collins' enlightened social attitudes in his treatment of the servants in the novel. Collins adapted The Moonstone for the stage in 1877, but the production was performed for only two months.

The Collins book was very satisfying and considerably more memorable than the 'Cuckoo Calling' which is not to say that the Rowling book isn't worth a look. I just enjoyed the Collins more.

On a different tack I have had various reactions from 'friends' since my return from Canada. They mostly want to comment on how much fatter I am and then whether I've enjoyed myself or not. An interesting way of approaching people! As a bit of a sensitive soul I wonder how they'd feel if I began conversations with 'Wow haven't you aged in the last fortnight!" or "You've gone really grey since I last saw you!"
"How insensitive can you be?"

God Bless