cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (rhino)
I have 27 books left to write up from 2008 - I would give my total for the year, but my numbering system appears a little eccentric (skimming reveals two 44s, two 74s and two 75s, for a start), so it will have to wait until I'm more organised. More than 75, anyway. And almost all of them are in boxes in another city, so I shall launch myself precipitously into the new year and back-track later.

Arturo Perez-Reverte, The queen of the south. )

Alexandre Dumas, The count of Monte Cristo. )

Arturo Perez-Reverte has already written a book about Dumas (The Dumas Club, and yes, the film is hopeless and has changed everything), and Queen of the South explicitly references Count of Monte Cristo. Both are about people who suffer, and are changed by it, and who go on to take control, or revenge; I wish I had the texts here, because I think there are some interesting issues here about justice and criminality, and the sorts of compromises people will - and won't - make in pursuit of these. The gender-swap is also interesting, although both Dantes and Teresa seem quite capable of inspiring dedication in their followers of an adoringly platonic nature. Maybe on a re-read. During which I could also say something incisive about translation, because I think both these books are examples of good translation (and yet, without reading the originals, how can I really know?) - I particularly like the way the Perez-Reverte leaves things untranslated at times, balancing the feel of the world with the need of the reader.
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (rhino)
Which applies both to these books as well as most of the theatre I've been seeing. I watched Slings & Arrows (Canadian TV series about a theatre company, excellent) earlier this year and have since then desperately wanted to see a good production of Macbeth, or failing that a decent ensemble cast piece heavy on character interactions. Sadly, almost everything I've been to is either heavy on the monologuing to audience or directed in such a way as to inhibit all character interactions. And they almost all either finish with a fairly contrived death (Niu Sila was particularly annoying in this respect, as I'd really liked it until then) or in media res (True West, whatever the backwards Pinter one was where he justified his adultery and last night's Blackbird), both of which, to me, indicate a problem with endings. I have tickets for a few more things, tho', and will continue to live in hope (or read about Robert Lepage's latest play, now premiering in London, and think pining thoughts).

Arturo Pérez-Reverte, The painter of battles. )

Star-crossed, Linda Collison. My overentitled sociopath book. )
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)
In my ongoing quest for titles I will eventually end up calling posts “stories featuring the letter ‘e’”, but at least this one sounds almost thoughtful (or, possibly, as if I've been impaling some of my less liked tomes).

The Privilege of the Sword has a lot of good stuff in it but ultimately fails to stick the dismount, and the key problem is the same one that had me put down Swordspoint three chapters from the end and never pick it up again. Ellen Kushner. The Privilege of the Sword. )

Captain Alatriste, Arturo-Perez Reverte. )


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