Some people run long distances, some people climb mountains. Me – I read The Waves. Deceptively short at 172 pages in my Kindle it was the longest book I’ve ever read, with the possible exception of Frankenstein. In short, I hated it. Painful. It was painful. It starts off with the voices of six children who all grow up and never stop giving internal monologues, though for some reason, she used the word ‘said.’ Jinny said, Bernard said, except that they don’t. They also don’t really speak with six voices. They speak with largely one voice with a distinguishing characteristic or two to differentiate them. They spout what some consider beautiful poetry and I consider tremendous amounts of drivel. She has a habit of using words and phrases many times though what they mean to her eludes me. Waves and water seem to signify time, at least some of the time. It drips. Tuesday follows Monday. A square on an oblong. Assegais are mentioned frequently. Certainly more often than they should be for a story taking place in England, though exactly when is impossible to say. Bernard thinks he’s Byron. Rhoda’s afraid of everyone. Jinny is a social butterfly. Is she on the game? No idea. After primary school the girls go one way and the boys another and yet they all apparently stay in touch, though why or when is not clear. They all more or less fall in love with a guy named Percival and just as it is difficult to understand someone else’s crush, it’s difficult to understand theirs for Percival.
The book gets slightly more tolerable when they hit middle age and then spins off again into pretentious nonsense when Bernard begins his long monologue seemingly to a nearly complete stranger he collars and makes have dinner with him. But that makes it sound more interesting than it was. There is no plot, which is not really a problem, but there are no characters either. Not really. Susan has pear-shaped eyes. What the hell do pear-shaped eyes look like?
Sorry, I’m a philistine. It’s about time you knew. Perhaps you already did. The one thing that might have helped would have been being able to look at this cover which I think is gorgeous… sorry, can’t get it. It’s on Pinterest and Pinterest only lets you share things to Pinterest. I hate Pinterest.
No, I got it. Yay me. Isn’t it gorgeous? Far too beautiful for the book within. Sorry, VW. Did I mention it was painful? I’ll get over it someday. And I need never read that again. Yay!
Bev of My Reader’s Block has a new challenge which sounds like fun. You read a series of books which creates itself by each having something in common with the last book. I’ll post what she wrote to describe it:
Evidence Trail Example: if the first book I read is by Agatha Christie, then my next book could be Arrow Pointing Nowhere by Elizabeth Daly who has often been referred to as “Agatha Christie’s favorite author.” Using “Arrow” from the Daly book’s title, then House of the Arrow by A.E.W. Mason (published in 1924) could be next and it might lead me to another book published in 1924…and so on. If you have doubts about whether your clue is convincing OR you need any clarification about the challenge at all, you may approach the bench with questions (phryne1969 AT gmail DOT com).
There are several levels of participation:
Infraction — six books read in a single chain of evidence
Misdemeanor — eight books read in a single chain of evidence
Felony — ten books read in a single chain of evidence
Capital Offence — twelve books in a single chain of evidence
I think I will go for 10 books.
Check out her site and sign up for the challenge, too. Or she has a couple of others. She is a mystery reader, so this is a mystery challenge, if you don’t like mysteries, you’ll have to start your own challenge, but give credit to her if you do!
Last week at work there was a disaster — the internet went out. For hours. I hadn’t brought my Kindle and neither my phone nor my ipad had a current book loaded and safety features prevented me from signing into the app on the phone. So I went and looked at the book exchange we have and found Elizabeth Peters’ Deeds of the Disturber. I had read Peters back in the 80s. In fact, I may have gotten as far as Disturber in the Amelia Peabody series, but I don’t remember. It was much as I remember them. This one was set in England rather than Egypt, but still concerned a mysterious priest appearing by a mummy in the British Museum. The entire Emerson family are Egyptian experts and almost insufferably arrogant, but they are fun books. Not fairly clued. Maybe that’s why they’re referred to as novels of suspense in their latest edition, not that there’s a whole lot of that, either. They’re pretty cozy, somewhat amusing, a bit frustrating. I still think half what the criminals did was unnecessary. Don’t read it for a clever mystery. Read it if you like Victorian Egyptology with a bit of adventure thrown in and a pedantic child.
Forgot to mention one of my favorite things. Amelia applies to Scotland Yard for information and works with none other than The Moonstone’s Inspector Cuff! I love stuff like that.
Just to prove I actually do live in the 21st Century, I thought I’d tell you I saw Fantastic Beasts last weekend (stupid to go then, but that wasn’t my decision) and I loved it. I think if you like Harry Potter, you’ll enjoy Fantastic Beasts. Which clearly isn’t true, as it’s only getting 76 at Rotten Tomatoes, but I don’t understand why that is. I went in knowing nothing, but having sort of seen the trailer and liking the look of it and I recommend you do the same, but if you won’t do that, I’ll tell you a bit about it.
Fantastic Beasts Trailer
It takes place in the Potterverse, but it is 1926 New York City. A young wizard with a suitcase full of magical beasts arrives in New York and almost immediately the beasts in his case start causing trouble. A niffler which looks something like a duckbilled platypus but with an endless appetite for shiny things escapes and leads our hero Newt Scamander on a merry chase. His case gets mixed up with a nomag’s (American for muggle) who wants to be a baker and has gone to the bank for a loan. Meanwhile, Scamander has been spotted by a local woman who turns out to work for the wizard bureaucracy, but is clearly not held in high esteem there. Things get more complicated as there are problems with magical happenings in NYC in addition to Newt’s escapees. The film is gorgeous. Eddie Redmayne is endearingly awkward as Scamander.
I’ve looked at a couple negative reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and they just seem cranky. No, it’s not Harry Potter. If you want to watch Harry Potter, go do that. Some reviewers felt there was too much going on, but I disagree. I found Newt charming and I liked the rest of them, too. I was rooting for them and I think Rowling did a great job, extending the Potter world, but not putting out a retread. As 83% of the audience enjoyed it, that’s probably a better guide. So if you want to see a fun movie full of magic and fantastic beasts and you aren’t a cranky-pants, go see it.