Monday, September 30, 2013

Thunderball, by Ian Fleming

  • Title:  Thunderball
  • Author:  Ian Fleming
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library
  • Started: 9/23/2013
  • Finished:  9/28/2013
James-Bond-Fest continues in order with Thunderball, an entertaining book with the first introduction of SPECTRE and Blofeld.  This book, if I'm not mistaken, is also the one which caused a lot of headaches for the author, who lost part of his control over Bond to a man who sued (and won, again, I believe) saying the story was his idea.  You shouldn't take my word for any of this, and a quick internet search would no doubt provide the proper details.  But as this site is just a place for me to note the books I've read and my musings, it hardly seems worth the trouble.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Truelove, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Truelove
  • Author:  Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from DC Public (Audiobook)
  • Started: 9/19/2013
  • Finished:  9/24/2013
I continue to enjoy these novels quite a bit.  Truelove (15th in the Aubrey/Maturin, AKA Master & Commander series) started a little slow for me, but quickly developed into a very enjoyable  novel.  The subplot (main plot?) with Clarissa had me confused at some points, wondered if I understood the underlying context and meaning at all times.
At any rate, an enjoyable continuation of these wonderful characters.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fuzz, by Ed McBain

  • Title:  Fuzz
  • Author:  Ed McBain
  • Purchased from Antique shop in Fenwick Island, DE
  • Started: 9/18/2013
  • Finished:  9/22/2013
Three of these 87th Precinct books in relatively quick succession is one too many.  I probably would have liked this book just fine if I read it 6 months from now, but reading it on the heels of two others is just too much of the same.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Jigsaw, by Ed McBain

  • Title:  Jigsaw
  • Author:  Ed McBain
  • Purchased from antique stores on the Eastern Shore, in DE
  • Started: 9/15/2013
  • Finished: 9/17/2013
Another 87th Precinct book, another satisfying procedural.  Not the best plot, but some pretty entertaining writing. 

In the Best Families, by Rex Stout

This novel completes the Arnold Zeck trilogy (Nero Wolfe's Moriarty).  Zeck wasn't much of a villian, and his death isn't much of a story.  In fact I enjoyed this book the least of any Wolfe novel in recent memory.
First off I should note the following:  I am a hypocrite.  If you look through this site at the novels I've read, the vast majority are crime novels, and the vast majority of those deal with the deaths of humans.  I am not bothered by these deaths, for the most part, at all.  But in this book, along with a woman being killed, so is her loyal dog.  And dammit if that didn't really get to me.
With that out of the way we get to the first reason I didn't enjoy this book very much:  Although I've always thought the narrator (Archie Goodwin) was my favorite character, it turns out I don't like him as much as I thought when he doesn't have Wolfe around.  In this book, Wolfe is around in the beginning and the end, but the majority of the book is Wolfe free.  Goodwin, without Wolfe, is a pain in the ass.  I'm sure Stout did this on purpose, and I imagine Wolfe without Goodwin is equally a pain.   And it turns out Goodwin doesn't like dogs, and doesn't seem to care much that one died.  Strike two.
Another reason I wasn't much of a fan of this one is the Arnold Zeck death is anticlimactic to say the least, and Zeck really never seems like much of a threat. 
Stout (the author), however is to be commended.  He clearly knows (knew) his audience, and I must admit I fell for the having Goodwin not care about dogs business.  After Zeck is killed there is still the question of who killed the woman who hired Wolfe in the beginning (she was killed while walking her dog, her dog was killed immedately after she was).
Wolfe states (paraphrasing) to his collected guests, one of whom is the killer, that the death of the dog was in fact worse than the death of the woman.  The woman was killed for her money.  A tragic death, but not an uncommon one.  But the dog, the dog was killed by someone she loved and trusted, and the killer broke this trust and for that Wolfe insisted he be brought to justice.
So Stout (the author) made me finally find a flaw in Goodwin (the narrator), but raised my esteem for Wolfe.  The ending where Wolfe is stating how the dog loved and trusted the killer probably wouldn't mean much to a non-animal person, but if you've ever loved a dog, it will get to you.  I found the description stayed with me for hours after I'd read it.  It didn't have the power of the Polar Bear story I mentioned in my last update (O'Brian's Nutmeg of Consolation), but it was moving none-the-less.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here, by Ed McBain

  • Title:  Hail, Hail, The Gang's All Here
  • Author:  Ed McBain
  • Purchased from antique stores on the Eastern Shore, in DE
  • Started:  9/14/2013
  • Finished: 9/14/2013
A one day beach read, my kind of day and book.  Love these old police procedurals from McBain (an 87th Precinct book).  This is contained in a volume with three of these 87th Precinct novels contained therein, so I'll have a few more of these to post soon I imagine.

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Nugmeg of Consolation

The most unweildy title of the series so far, as I got closer to listening to the one I was curious what the Nutmeg of Consolation would be.  Silly me, it was (is?) a ship, of course.
I'm pressed for time so won't go into this much except to say two things:
1.  I enjoyed it very much, as I have all of the other Aubrey/Maturin (Master & Commander) books (this one is book 14), and
2.  Holy crap -- the polar bear story in this book is perhaps the saddest thing I've heard heard.  A tiny aside in the big work, that has (seemingly) no connection to the story, it is just incredibly powerful, and moreso, terribly sad.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Fletch and the Man Who, by Gregory McDonald

Title: Fletch and the Man Who
Author: Gregory McDonald
Purchased from used book store in Ocean City, MD
Started: 8/32/2013
Finished: 9/2/2013

Another Fletch book, the last purchased at the used book store while on vacation, pretty weak overall.

The Thirteen-Gun Salute, by Patrick O'Brian

  • Title:  The Thirteen-Gun Salute
  • Author:  Patrick O'Brian
  • Borrowed from DC Public Library (Audiobook)
  • Started: 8/19/2013
  • Finished:  9/2/2013
Yet another in the Aubrey/Maturin (Master & Commander) series.  I didn't love this one as much as the others, but still an eminently enjoyable read.  I've said it before, but I'll be very sad when I reach the end of this series.