okay, some kind of King Arthur thing, apparently done extra bloody and shocking. we’ll see. I hope I like my first Henry Treece, because I’m also supposed to read The Golden Ships, which is recommended on the same (dated) list of ‘100 Best Fantasy Books’ that led me to this one.
a joyous, near-perfect morning of reading, thanks mainly to The Yellow Dog by Georges Simenon - but the wonders continued with the inverted Mystery story called ‘The Case of Oscar Brodski’ by R. Austin Freeman. I loved it, even if its hyper-meticulousness goes on a little long (‘okay, you’ve got this solved, Thorndyke, you’re a genius and you’ve condensed three weeks of bumbling, tardy investigation by clods into a couple hours of insta-know once you’ve got yet another slide under your microscope...just get over to the fireplace, find that fibre, you’re done, you’re done, you’re done - you don’t even have to poke around the - fine, yep, you found that teeny fragment too, good, good - an arrest now, maybe? I have to pee, and we know I’m not gonna pee on a clue, cuz you found em all’). anyway, nitpicks aside, Blood on the Tracks is turning out to be a terrific set of stories, even when the story lets me know who the killer is early on.
that takes care of ‘The Affair of the Corridor Express’ by Victor L. Whitechurch, who, it turns out, I’ve read before when I read The Floating Admiral looooooooong ago. who knows - maybe one day I’ll get to read a full-length novel by him.
even though the Whitechurch story was not a particular favorite, nothing in this book has been disappointing, and next for me is an “inverted Mystery” that must be one of the longer stories included. I enjoy inverted Mysteries, as a refreshing alternative, every now and then.
here I go again with Maigret - a fairly early case, this time. I guess Simenon has become an Old Reliable for me!
things are going just fine with this, but it does remind of many other books I’ve read when it comes to story, style, hero, scenes, supporting characters. very entertaining...very familiar.
my first go-round with this author. I expect good things. my impression, when I first started seeing books with the name Baldacci on them, was that those were Legal Thrillers...but it looks like if that was the case, he has branched out.
I'm going to throw together a pair of Mysteries that - for reasons I'll only get into in a quick Spoiler Tease after the images - share a similar trick (though be careful about assuming the trick is exactly the same!):
SPOILER TEASE BELOW: stop now if you don't want an extra hint on how to predict the reveal. SPOILER TEASE BELOW:
isn't it fun when the wrong person gets bumped off!
wow, cruelly perfect, and it's funny how - in its own way - it's like a soulmate to the book I just read, Jelinek's Greed, but thankfully not done in the same way. it's bleak and tragic, though - so they have that in common, a dismal look at the worst parts of our "civilized societies", but thankfully I have a much more direct approach here. the book also reminds me of the Jack Reacher books, and Collins's Quarry series, a little.
okay, ‘The Three Souls’ gave me the shivers moreso than most of the other stories in this collection. maybe we can get on a bit of a roll!
WARNING to the next 5 books I read: none of you next five, no matter what I choose, are allowed to be anything like Greed by Elfriede Jelinek. do you hear that, book? I hope you do. and don’t think that just because I gave the Jelinek book 3.5 stars, “oh, he likes that sort of thing, incredibly difficult style and barely any plot, let’s give him some more!”...that would be a mistake. I will hate you, I will shred you - you’re confetti. if you are anything like the Jelinek novel so soon after the Jelinek novel - if you dare to be weirdly beautifully nonsensical and you lack forward momentum on most pages...you are wedding confetti. you will make someone else happy at a special occasion, in little tiny fluttering, cascading paper particles, but you will not make me happy. no Jelinek clones for at least five books. recovery time - it’s called recovery time, hearda that?! in fact I was gonna read Baldacci’s The Guilty next...but it‘s long. what if it’s long, and Jelinekesque??—I can’t risk that. it’s too soon. You Were Never Really Here is 97 pages; if it has the nerve, the crust - the immortal rind - to get all Jelinek on me...it’s 97 pages. so!
easily one of the strangest reading experiences of my life. shall finish it tomorrow. probably Baldacci’s The Guilty next.
I think...I think I love this book, but I have had to create an all new kind of love to love this book.
it’s brilliant, burning writing, but also frustrating and hard to deal with. just forget about any plot synopsis you come across - back cover of the book, or whatever - because recommending this book on the basis of a plot is misleading and unfair.
of the books I’ve actually finished and even enjoyed for their daring to be different...I guess this is like reading Paul West? maybe? Colonel Mint, Terrestrials - stuff like that. I was thinking maybe Vonnegut earlier, but no, we’re into stranger territory than that. Mark Leyner - no, um, maybe a little, but I hated that Leyner book, and this one is not one that I hate. then there’s the whole Joanna Russ/Margaret Atwood/slightly Suzy McKee Charnas vibe, when it comes to the Feminist content. but again, it’s the style of the book that might get it abandoned by some readers - now I’m flashing back to Ice by Anna Kavan...just think of anything weird and non-linear that you’ve read, that has anger, and stream of consciousness style that occasionally reminds you of the plot that barely has anything to do with what you’re reading - plus, some explicit and sudden-shock sexual imagery that just drops from nowhere, plus stuff that is funny but you don’t know why, plus stuff that’s super-brilliant and either you know why or some hidden piece of your brain figures it out and doesn’t fully explain but sends a believable signal that hey, that was brilliant.
I’m gonna need something severely the opposite, after this - and it does remind me of a novel called Waltenberg, which I did not finish due to a style I couldn’t process on any level - but amongst tough-to-take frustrating “novels” I’ve tackled, it’s a good one. I’m gonna finish it, and every now and then I hook on to something brilliant down deep on a page, haul it up and examine what I’ve found.