hmm, a lot of sharks in my entertainment today--just a fluke, I guess (was that a pun? sometimes I don't know...). I watched a Man from UNCLE episode today, and there was nasty, evil Carroll O'Conner with a lagoon full of sharks ready to eat any heroes asking to be tossed in (didn't go that way, haha bad guy, you lose/you lunch!), and then I put on Thunderball, and we have Largo bragging about catching sharks and selling them to eager customers. that's what you do if you're high up in SPECTRE...secondary income is something weird and exotic.
finally, here I am immersed in Family Matters, which you would think would take me a million miles away from sharks...but Robert Kewdingham, now that he's decided not to loaf about and disappoint his wife and relations any more, is actually thinking to go to work as an engineer for a shark farm. proposed shark farm. anyway, I don't think Robert has decided to amount to something in time to avoid the various deaths by poison multiple family(!) members are planning for him.
so, sharks as a great selling-product--when people aren't being thrown to them--has been shoved in my face all day, and it's been fun. by the way, this book is perfect so far.
I whizzed through Martin Edwards' Intro, and I'm also aware that he selected this novel as a terrific example of the type of book he discusses in the chapter called "The Ironists", in his reading guide The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books. there was no way I was going to put off for long any book filed under "The Ironists"; in fact, it's weird that I waited this long. The Ironists! love the sound of that!...hope the book is amazing! is it irony, if it's not...? maybe Alanis Morissette irony.
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rolling along nicely; this Mystery is set in Calcutta (now officially Kolkata), in 1919, so as you can imagine, it is rich in atmosphere. I'm halfway tempted to read that big SF novel I have stashed, called River of Gods, just to keep a theme going, because it's set in India in 2047. regardless, A Rising Man is endlessly fascinating...even if the murder does turn out to be strictly political (so far, I think that may be one massive red herring...).
excellent! (it is excellent...but mainly this has been a short sweet test, of the re-emerging bookworm broadcasting system...).
I'm way late getting to this Classic Noir novel that suddenly appeared decades later than most Classic Noir novels. time to rectify, and feel the Crumley effect.
this collection is running at about 3.5 stars, in the ratings game, with me--but to be fair, I've got two long stories left to get done, and my overall view could change...a little.
I'm working my way through what I'll call a novella, titled 'A Fragment of Life', and it was slow and grinding, a bit early on--a bit "domestic", chatty, and homey--but now the magic has started to really creep in, and I like it. Machen has not emerged as a perfect writer for me, but when the beauty comes out in a story, the words light up.
okay, things are a little up in the air in terms of what I'm gonna read next, and how much of it--but I'm mainly referring to my ever-changing plans for the rest of the Machen collection; I was going to do all the short stories--well, novellas--left in it, but now I think I won't. Machen is better for me in small doses...even when they're suddenly big small doses. so I'll do one Machen story tomorrow morning, and then, because Justice League is around the corner, that's got me hungry for something even remotely related...and Batman is not exactly "remotely related'. though if I had planned this properly, I'd have a Justice League graphic novel handy. anyway, there's a small chance I'll flip again, tomorrow, and do all the Machen before moving on to anything else, but it's doubtful--partly because I'm anxious to see the revamp of an old favorite of mine: Anarky! bring him on.
wow. covering all the bases. I mean...every form of human depravity interwoven (that's the scariest part--the sheer, malevolent interconnectedness of it) into one Spy story.
he's managed to work in oyster-rustling, for crying out loud...
my goodness, ex-spy Kate sure has put herself in a strange place after walking away. I'd say she's surrounded by more espionage-related nonsense, all of a sudden, than she would have been staying with MI5. who knew?! this is a complex, ultra-cynical (not a surprise, with this author), and very rewarding read, so far. people of the modern world are horrendous and Spy fiction focusing on up to the minute Security dilemmas, and the real state of affairs under the sugar-coated topping, highlights that like nothing else. I love it.
oh goody! this is a sequel to a Spy novel that quietly blew me away a few years ago, Toxic. I'm embarrassed to admit it had been so long, that I had forgotten the main character's name--Kate Pendragon--so seeing it on the back cover didn't turn the light on in my head. but now, I know, she's the same hero from before--and I couldn't be happier. I also couldn't be happier as a result of the first 46 pages of this Spy tale with a heavy Murder Mystery feel (we've got a serial killer amongst the spy shenanigans!), because it seems like it's gonna be a stellar follow-up to a fantastic hidden gem.
I do feel guilty--on two fronts--for reading this right now, though. explanations: well, I've owned another book called Hostage by one of my recent fave-raves, Kristina Ohlsson, which I considered reading now, and yet I'm reading the book with this title that I bought yesterday. unfair, jumping the line and all that, but I have read three Ohlsson novels all in this year, and it's only a matter of time before I jump back to such an amazing author; she has nothing to worry about. besides that, when I bought Doward's sequel, it was after putting back on the bookstore shelf Mike Oldfield's Spy sequel (to The Sentinel). and that mainly due to priciness, what I wanted to spend that day, etc. but I know it's out there, and even if a cheaper, smaller trade paperback edition does not show up to save me a few bucks, based on my love of Oldfield's earlier spies-in-Spain epic, it's only a matter of time, whatever the outlay...
meanwhile...Doward! and I am thrilled at that!
a strange and wonderful old Mystery; I'm having fun. and it's rather short, so there's a chance I'll finish it later tonight. hard to just leave it.
the premise is unique--Gamadge becomes aware of a cold case involving a down-and-out poet/playwright bludgeoned to death at night, in Central Park, two years before (looks like a mugging...sort of...with, uh, pecularities), just when some dodgy scheme seems to be getting worked, involving some personal writings of his about to go up for sale, maybe. I like it. so I'll finish this, then probably another, more modern, Crime novel, and then I think I'll finish all the contents I've got left in the Machen book.
since I won't read the Book 5 preview at the back of this entry, I'm done at page 441...which means I should wrap this up tomorrow morning, if I go long. ready for a mystery, probably a return to Elizabeth Daly's Henry Gamadge series after many, many years. before that, a Mystery or two to be resolved here, such as who impersonated the Watcher.