Friday, March 22, 2013

Holiday reading

One of the joys of a relaxing holiday in the sun is the opportunity to have a right good read. I know I can do that at home but on holiday there are no distractions and you can really kick back and get stuck into a few good novels. Here's the list from the past week in Lanzarote:

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch - 7/10

I spotted this on a buy one get one half price table at Waterstones and it looked interesting so thought I'd give it a go. It's not particularly smart or clever and has nothing at all really to say but it's quite fun. If I were to compare it with Laundry Files series by Charles Stross or just about anything by Jasper Fforde, with which it shares many similarities, it falls a little short but not far. There's every chance I'll be reading further books in the series at some date in the future but I'm not going to be racing out to buy them.

Angelmaker by Nick Harkaway - 9/10

What a cracking read. Not exactly an earth-shatteringly original story - a race to save the earth from the effects of a doomsday by a watchmaker with a family history - but the slight steampunk bent and the tales of London's underbelly give it some nice originality. The conclusion is pretty obvious and so Harkaway doesn't waste much time on teasing that part of the story out, just getting right to the point. I'll certainly be taking a look at his other work.

Filth by Irvine Welsh - 9/10

I don't know why I hadn't read it before or maybe I had and had forgotten it. The protagonist is a nasty piece of work with no real redeeming features, so fairly typical Welsh. From the blurb on the cover I'd expected it to be filthier than it turned out to be but it was still pretty bad and is not recommend for those of a sensitive nature. I notice they're making a film of it, I suspect I'll be there to see it.

The Woman in the Fifth by Douglas Kennedy - 2/10

I was absolutely loving this book until page 295, then I was a little wary and then the clunking, crass cliche fully kicked in. I carried on as I thought it may be able to recover and I rather liked the characters so I wanted to know what happened but to no avail. It actually got worse as a further awful literary cliche reared its ugly head and deprived the book of any sort of a climax. I won't spoil it all by telling you what dreadful misdemeanours were executed but safe to say it's the sort of thing that might have satisfied me when I was 10. I came away feeling completely conned and hoping that I would soon wake up and discover it was all just a horrible dream!

1 comment:

Tvor said...

I read Woman in the Fifth recently, too and i absolutely agree with you that it was a huge let down, the "twist" ending. And they've already made a movie of it which i might download mainly for the rest of it, and to see scenes in Paris etc. I wouldn't spend money on it tho (didn't for the book either ;)