?

Log in

entries friends calendar profile Previous Previous Next Next
Two Charming Books, One Anti-Charming Book - Qualified Perceptions
firstfrost
firstfrost
Two Charming Books, One Anti-Charming Book
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (by Alexander McCall Smith)
This is one of those books that the Today Show likes. It's not really a mystery at all. It took something like two hours, tops, to read So I feel a bit embarassed and more In Tune with Pop Culture than I normally am, to have so thoroughly enjoyed it. Maybe I just have a soft spot for the style of language that uses no apopstrophes. Four stars.
The Unhandsome Prince (by John Moore)
Another light read. The book opens with the beautiful maiden having spent months gridding up the swamp with stakes and string, discarding used frogs and pre-frog tadpoles downstream, when she finally kisses the prince - who is disappointingly Not Handsome. But it's not just a parody, it progresses from there to an actual plot of its own. It's not amazingly epic, but it is a lot of fun. Four stars.
Monument (by Ian Graham)
This is an unusual book. Imagine the opening scenes from Les Mis, with the idealistic priest taking in Jean Valjean, and the subsequent theft of the silverware. But instead of Valjean being a good guy at heart, imagine that he's basically just another Thenardier. That's our anti-hero, and the back of the book is certainly accurate when it describes it as "not your average noble quest fantasy." There's a Perilous Travelling Quest for dubious reasons, chased by the Forces of Oppressive Government. But the quest is somewhat unsatisfying, as is the resolution, and a number of the mysteries are left somewhat unresolved. It's the author's first novel, and I'm glad he's willing to write something everyone else hasn't written first, but he's not yet brilliant in his innovation. Two and three quarters stars.


(Books 1 and 2 are borrowable; Book 3 will go to the MITSFS soon unless someone wants it).

Tags:
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful

13 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
desireearmfeldt From: desireearmfeldt Date: May 18th, 2005 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)

No. 1 Ladies detective agency

At in-laws' this xmas, I read some later book in this series, having read none of the earlier ones, and my impression was "This is one of those books where the author's run out of interesting plot for the series. I bet the first one or two were good." :)
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 18th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: No. 1 Ladies detective agency

I couldn't really confirm that the first one had Interesting Plot, exactly. It was just... sunny and pleasant.
mijven From: mijven Date: May 18th, 2005 12:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

I shall remember to borrow them then! (If I don't break down and see if the local libraries have them first.) I'm real into light reads nowadays. And the last book you sent was very amusing too. [Jane Austen meets DragonKind.] Should I consider sending it on to someone else - or would you like it back?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 18th, 2005 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Feel free to pass it along to someone else you think might like it - I cheated and read it before sending. :)
remcat From: remcat Date: May 18th, 2005 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
Would that be Tooth and Claw? By Jo Walton?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 18th, 2005 09:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup! :)
mijven From: mijven Date: May 20th, 2005 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yup. Why, do you need me to send it to you? :)
remcat From: remcat Date: May 20th, 2005 09:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Already read it -- just wanted to plug it by name, since it was so cool.
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: May 18th, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been meaning to read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and would like to borrow it from you. Should the crow books go directly to desireearmfeldt when my husband finishes them?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 18th, 2005 01:58 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been meaning to read the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and would like to borrow it from you.
Sure! Hmm, I don't have a scheduled Thursday with you yet. I'll figure something out. :)
Should the crow books go directly to desireearmfeldt when my husband finishes them?
Yup, that'd be good.

(ooh! I can frob things in my not-yet-close-to-done book database! Muah hah hah!)
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: May 18th, 2005 05:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Woohoo, more fairy tale variations! I'd like to borrow The Unhandsome Prince, please.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: May 18th, 2005 09:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Whee! Okay. :)
(Hmm. Perhaps if it's not raining, I'll wander around as a book fairy tomorrow evening.)
kelkyag From: kelkyag Date: May 20th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yay, book fairies!
13 comments or Leave a comment