sharing news and views from Crouch End and Hornsey
I've just started reading this - up to about page 50 - and if the book did not have such a reputation I might be inclined to give up. So far a journalist has had a somewhat stilted and unconvincing discussion with an old mate on a clearly contrived occasion whilst out sailing. On the basis of this he's written an inaccurate story about a very dull fraud. On the back of this he is about to go to prison, entirely without any courtroom drama. The G with the DT has now appeared. Her main attribute seems to be unconventionality, and a willingness to disagree with her boss. Then there was another discussion between the The G , her boss and a lawyer, in the course of which the G read out a report. If I want people reading out reports I can go to a council meeting.
I will persist, but it must improve.
I've read on a bit and an old man has insisted on telling a story in a very pedantic and chronological way to a reporter. The reporter is now reading thousands of pages of police reports, pausing only to fill in some detail on the old man's very large family, which is too complex for him to hold in his head.
I read last thing at night before I go to sleep and there are some books that you can't wait for the next chapter so you go on reading long after you should. Not this one though. Its a cure for insomnia and has me yawning part way through a chapter.
I have now finished this book and I reckon the first third of it (maybe a little more) could be usefully summed up in about 4 pages. If it had been I might have been more alert when we got to the bit where you actually start looking for clues to what was going on and the appalling revelations start to trickle through.
Another really irritating factor for me was the translator's choice to represent all times as, for example 3.00. I cannot help but read this as "three dot nought nought" and it puts me in mind of nothing more than the Cobol data division entry "pic z9.99" something I learned in the 1970s training as a programmer. This gives rise to the sequence 'They got up at ten dot nought nought, took a shower together and ate breakfast out in the garden. At eleven dot nought nought Dirch Frode called and said that the funeral would take place at two dot nought nought in the afternoon' . How am I supposed to concentrate on whether or not I'm enjoying my fantasy shower with an abused, boyish, anorexic, self mutilating, psychological geek freak young enough to be my daughter,when all those dot nought noughts are getting in the way. Sorry I have given away quite a lot about the relationship between two of the main characters, but the .00 did get to me.
My daughter has just lent me the other two books in the trilogy - apparently they are just as good as the first!