reading · science fiction

Surprising Tid-Bit In Apprentice in Death

I finished the latest In Death book, Apprentice in Death. It is the 43rd book in the series and that is pretty cool. I hope they finish the movie soon. Who knows what is going on with it?

There is a high school named after Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

I don’t think she has any high schools named after her in the present, but it’s interesting that she does in the future this book lives in. I mean, lots of famous people have schools named after them. But it gave me quite the jolt to see it in this book.

She may have schools named after her, no matter how this election goes. But I suppose it is more likely if she wins.

It is still sort of surprising to see it there in Apprentice in Death, mentioned all causal-like.

 

 

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: Casino Royale

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser:

Bond knew exactly where the switch was and it was with one flow of motion that he stood on the threshold with the door full open, the light on and a gun in his hand. The safe, empty room sneered at him.

– Casino Royale by Ian Fleming

Book Review

Book Reivew: Murder on the Orient Express

I read Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie for the National Novel Reading Month (NaNoReMo for short), hosted by John Wiswell. You’re supposed to that classic you always meant to read, but never got around to actually reading.

Murder on the Orient Express is a mystery classic. I’ve never seen any of the movies or the TV show. But I know the story, which probably indicates just how much of a classic it is.

Before I started the book, I didn’t know this is the ninth in a series. But it was okay. I think there were references in the beginning of the book to past events, but it didn’t affect the rest of the story.

Despite starting late – I completely forgot until the middle of the month! – I finished it quickly. The book is supposed to be around 300 pages, but it didn’t feel that long. It was a quick read. I also didn’t know that detective was Belgian. I suppose I thought he was English or American or something. (I mean, Dame Christie was English so . . . yeah, I assumed.)

The language was a bit formal, but not more than I was expecting. I mean, this book was first written in the 1930’s, and all writing was a lot more formal back then.

It’s written in the third person, and while it’s a fairly strict third person, there is a lot more distance between the reader and the main character than in contemporary third person POV. I think this might be a result of the formality of the language. That makes me wonder, how much of a role does language play in how much distance exists between the main character and the reader in other POVs?

I liked how she divided the suspect interviews into chapters and how she built up each character before the murder even happened. It made the conclusion that much more inevitable. The reveal of how all the characters are connected was slow, almost delicate, and I liked it a lot.

So, I was looking at the characters and how their stories match up. This is what comes of knowing how it ends. 😉 I think, if I didn’t already know the ending, it would be hard to guess. I mean, who would guess that were all in on it!

And the ending! They let everyone go! That, I didn’t know. I am glad I didn’t because it was a surprise. They let the whole train car of murderers go. I mean, the guy who got murdered deserved it. He got justice at the hands of his victims that he never got in the courts. Even so. Still not sure how I feel about it.

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

I am reading this for National Novel Reading Month. John has a post about it.

My Teasers:

All at once, I saw two figures: one a little man who was stumping along eastward at a good walk, and the other a girl of maybe eight or ten who was running as hard as she was able down a cross street. Well, sir, the two ran into one another naturally enough at the corner; and then came the horrible part of the thing; for the man trampled calmly over the child’s body and left her screaming on the ground. It sounds nothing to hear, but it was hellish to see.

– Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Book Review · reading

Book Review: The Maltese Falcon

The movie is famous. I watched it years ago when it was on TV, but truthfully, I don’t remember it very well. Just the basic plot. So when I decided to read the book version, a few things surprised me.

The Maltese Falcon is classic noir. It came out in 1930 as a novel and before that it was a serialized novel in some magazine (I think). The story is so famous, I am thinking it invented the lying femme fatal come to hire the PI cliché.

I think I was expecting something faster paced and with more fights. Not sure why I expected that. It was just in my mind there would be lots of chases and beautiful women and guns. Sam Spade himself doesn’t carry a gun, which I don’t remember from the movie. Well, there are beautiful women (a surprising number of them are red-heads) and guns and a few fights. It doesn’t move as fast as I expected, but it picks up in the second half of the book.

One of the things that surprised me was the gay guy. I didn’t think anyone admitted the existence of gay people in the 1930’s; I figured it was one of those things you figured out as you got older but that nobody ever talked about back then. I don’t remember it from the movie. And he was portrayed as the stereotype as far appearance goes.  (His lover was not! But the lover also carried more guns.)

So . . . either my impression of the 1930’s is wrong or something else is going on. (My impression is probably wrong.

But I really liked it. I liked the way Sam Spade gives the impression of knowing everything and gets people to tell him what he knows. He clearly knows the cops well and knows the criminal element, too. Makes you wonder if he is a good guy or not. I am not sure.

He turned the girl (and all the other bad guys) in at the end. But if he had gotten the money, would he have let her go? She got his partner killed, sure, but he never really cared for his partner. I mean, he slept with the man’s wife and got rid of his name from the door before the body was barely cold. He only investigated because he felt he had to.

So I don’t know if Sam Spade is a good guy. The book is written in a fairly close 3ed person POV, but despite that, I come away from this book knowing nothing about him. He’s good at his job, he’s a womanizer. He was planning on pushing his partner out before the guy got killed, but felt unable to let his murderer go.

But nothing about him, nothing personal. Sam Spade is an enigma.

General · reading · Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday: The Maltese Falcon

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read

* Open to a random page

* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

My Teasers:

When a man’s partner’s killed, he’s supposed to do something about it. It doesn’t make any difference what you thought of him. He was your partner and you’re supposed to do something about it. Then it happens, we’re in the detective business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed it’s bad business to let the killer get away with it.

– The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

Picture says it was 25 cents and it’s hard to believe a novel could ever cost so little.

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