A book in the The Universe of Xuya I do love the idea of ships as people. I really enjoyed Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who series way back in the way off times when I read it. It’s just a fascinating idea, a space ship with all the computing power of an AI, but still […]
Once one of the most powerful Houses in Paris Silverspires is in decline. Its founder, Morningstar, is missing. Selene, his last pupil, has taken over. For years she has led the House, protected it and its dependents and schemed and plotted on its behalf. Since the end of The Great War that is all the […]
Reread in April 2015 and it was just as good as I remembered. Original review from 22nd April 2006. ISBN: 0098461560 Trans from the French: David Bellos Yes again a cover influenced purchase, so I am glad to report that a good cover can lead to a good read too. I really enjoyed this book. […]
translated from French by Adriana Hunter It is eleven days since our first person narrator has died. He was just twenty one years old when meningitis took him. Now he tells the story of how his parents, specifically his father, are trying to cope with that hard fact. Their son is dead. This is a […]
Read online – Gutenberg This is a book I would never have picked up if not for the fact that it is on the reading list of an online course I’ve just started. It is the story of the Chevalier Des Grieux, the second son of a wealthy, upper-class French family in the early 18th […]
The Acatl stories : Servant of the Underworld, Harbinger of the Storm, and Master of the House of Darts. Recieved free from Netgalley. Acatl, our narrator, is an Aztec priest. High priest to Mictlantecuhtli, the Mexica god of death and the underworld. He who welcomes us all in the end. Acatl never particularly wanted to […]
translated by Christopher Moncrieff
Although the 1930’s mini challenge has come to an end, when I spotted this book at work I thought it might fit, and wanted to read more books of that time. Of course then I read the details and discovered that it was actually written earlier than that… Oh well :)
The devil in the flesh created quite a bit of a scandal when it was published, semi-autobiographical, the author wrote it from the age of sixteen to eighteen, after his own affair with a married woman. And that, my dears, is the central theme to this book. In fact, it is the end all and the be all of everything in this book. Our 15/16 year old narrator’s affair with a married woman. And I found that incredibly off-putting.
Author: Fred Vargas ; trans from the french by Sian Reynolds
An Adamsberg novel
Chief Inspector Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg has recently been transferred to Paris. His police methods aren’t exactly standard procedure and his inspectors have a lot to get used to. But they can have no doubt that he is a born policeman, and while even he is unable to explain how he arrives at his conclusions he is usually correct. In this case he thinks that there is something strange about the blue chalk circles that have been appearing in the Parisian streets. He is convinced that there is something sinister about them.
Author: Fred Vargas
Trans: Sian Reynolds
As you may already know I’m a big fan of Fred Vargas’ work and while this one is a library copy I’ll be buying this when it comes out in the proper size. I can’t stand these trade publications versions. They make no sense to me. All the negatives of a hardback with none of the positives. But enough about that; on to the plot.
The most straight-forward way of describing this book is to say that it is a murder-mystery. But with characters like Adamsberg there is no such thing as a straight-forward case. So when he spots something a little “off” about the two bodies that have shown up he decides that this case his rather than giving them over to the Drugs Squad.
The first Vargas book I read was Seeking Whom He May Devour, which I loved, and the reason I picked it up was because I liked the cover, well, this one doesn’t have quite such a gripping cover, but it really did grow on me. It is quite simple, just a tree picked out by a shaft of light in a garden, everything else is half hidden in the darkness. It really suits the story.
As I’ve mentioned before characters are what make, or break, a book for me. And this book has great, if slightly odd, stars. Eccentric is probably the polite term.
Trans: A.Craig Bell ISBN: 075091467X Sticking with the French theme I picked up The Masked Ball and other stories by Alexandre Dumas when I was wandering around various book shops over the weekend. I really enjoyed the Dumas books I read a while ago, my fav. is probably The Count of Monte Christo, but I […]