well, what do you know. do to the selections i made, look you see, i managed to finish two books in one week of bus travels to and from verk. no, journeys were not longer nor delayed in any way (except maybe Monday, on which trip the driver wished to argue with a patron as to what did and did not constitute as a £1 coin), it's just that these were fairly quick reading. apparently.
a quick look at them, followed by a spoiler free review? and why not.
in regards of a quick, spoiler free overview, Caedmon's Song is an ok read for people interested in seeing what Peter Robinson does with a novel that does not feature DCI Banks. Theodore Boone is marketed and intended for readers roughly a third of my age, but those of us who have enjoyed reading John Grisham for the last 25 or so years will not be let down too much.
onwards, then, and *** POSSIBLE SPOILERS *** lie ahead. you have been warned, continue with caution then. and links, as usual, are for ease of use, and not an endorsement or affiliation to a preferred supplier, thank you very much.
Caedmon's Song, which i bought for £2 off of Tesco recently. it was by about page 60 that i clocked his usual protagonist, or perhaps frequent antagonist, DCI Banks did not feature.
plot? two stories. one is of a student attacked by a maniac at the end of a term, the other is a mysterious lady who has turned up in Whitby, of all places, with a mysterious mission. are the tales interlinked? but of course they are. how far they are and why is, well, perhaps best for you to read, or work out after, again, 60 or so pages.
the most interesting thing about this novel, perhaps, is that absolutely no one involved with getting it as far as the shelves gave anything close to a good f*** about it. as far as i can work out it was only ever published in Canada for many years. in the clumsy notes from the author at the end, it seems that this was kicking about since the late 80s, but only published in England circa 2000 or so, presumably to cash in on the success of DCI Banks novels and TV adaptations. in his notes the author mentions that he "could have neatened up or edited" the novel before it eventually emerged, but more or less states that he could not be bothered, citing of all things nostalgia for Crocodile Dundee as a reason not to. the publisher was also less than bothered about effort, hence the spine having Caedmon' rather than Caedmon's Song as the title. and Tesco, pricing it at £2, are presumably not expecting this to produce epic profits for them.
as is the case with the other four novels i have read, Peter Robinson here insists on setting as much of this one in pubs as he can. the ending is ambiguous to the point of being not at all satisfactory, with no clear conclusion. and yet, dear reader, it's worth a go at the price it is on offer for.
Theodore Boone was one of those rare Grisham novels that i had not read within weeks of it being first published. it was aimed at "younger readers" so i gave it a miss. i, however, spotted it on sale down at the library, so thought yeah, why not.
plot? the thirteen year old son of two lawyers fancies himself as a lawyer in the making. to this end, he's quite familiar with fair bits of the law, and rather friendly with courtroom staff and so forth. the sleepy town in which he lives in has its first murder trial for years, and so he makes every effort to watch proceedings and follows. and then he is told a secret that could turn the course of events in what verdict is reached.....
it's a fast and sometimes flimsy read, but i would imagine that, aged 12 or so, i would have thought this to have an amazing amount of detail in it. there is certainly, be warned, no detail in the end, which sort of just happens rather than being reached. perhaps an actual conclusion to the events here comes up in one of the four books featuring the Theodore Boone character that have come along since. i don't know, but if i ever spot them in a sale or something i would imagine i would pick them up and find out.
if you have an early teens child that has an interest in reading, this would indeed be most boss for them. yes it involves references to crime, but there's a staggering lack of graphic details so fear not. Grisham's ace writing style, which makes even his dullest novels (The Last Juror, that one that was in Italy where it was all pasta eating and i can't remember the name of it) worth reading to the end, is present, so it's not like it is a total no-go for us all grown up, adult readers.
so there we go - two quick to read novels which could have been a great deal worse than they were, but fine for what entertainment and interest they presented.
what to read next? well, on friday i picked up something at WH Smith called Sister by Rosamund Lumpton. it looked interesting enough, but i was rather more intrigued by the pricing. if i bought it on its own, right, it would have cost be £8.99. if i bought it with another novel, the price would have dropped to £4.49. if, however, i bought it at the same time as i bought a 55p copy of the Daily Express, it came in at all of £1.
i was rather looking forward to starting the above on Monday, but it would appear that's out the window as i believe i will rather need to be around to oversee hot water being restored to the home. it is quite a handy thing to have, a cold shower this morning explained.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!