Thursday, December 24, 2015
A Stack of Books to Mention; a Reading Round-Up.
Why has this story never been made into a movie?
Another of the vintage John LeCarre novels, "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy". The best of his I've read so far. Deeply layered plot and elegant word smithing. Subtle. George Smiley may be my favorite character in fiction.
"Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen takes you to a magic place: a curmudgeonly old gent in his nursing home recalls his youth. After an early traumatic tragedy, he runs away and joins the circus in the 1920's and meets the love of his life. the literary enchantment reminded me of the totally engaging and original plot in "the Beautiful Ruins" that I read earlier.
"Who is Conrad Hurst?" by Kevin Wignall was a lean, mean little thriller about a soldier of fortune suffering post traumatic stress disorder after two shocking events. With no emotional ballast, he simply takes jobs as a stone cold killer-hit man in modern Europe until cascading events bring him back to his senses.
"Embers" by a mid-20th Century Hungarian writer Sandor Marai is a story of betrayal. Of course, I was reading a translation; I found it "flattened", somehow. It was readable, by I'm not sure I would recommend the book. I'm old; this story was too old for me.
"And Justice There is None" by Deborah Crombie. The book cover says the author is writing in P.D. James territory; if "London" is what is meant, that is true. The mystery written, Elizabeth George-style, by an American lady from Texas writing a London centered police procedural. For me it was "what to read on the train till I find something else"; a bit light and gimmicky after one is reminded of P. D. James.