Sunday, October 19, 2008

finished knots and crosses, started the case of the gilded fly

Knots and Crosses was pretty good, especially if you like the deranged-serial-killer-with- past-personal-link-to-detective genre. I'm going to try another one. They're not the refined type of British, or in this case, Scottish (or is it Scotch?) mystery, but more down and dirty. But our policeman, Sgt. Rebus, is different and kinda believable.

Meanwhile, I've started The Case of the Gilded Fly. Very British. Written in 1954, set in 1940 in Oxford. Characters are sophisticated and nasty (some of them, anyway). I loved the beginning - wonderful writing about a train slowly, maddeningly arriving at Oxford station. Also great writing about our sleuth, a professor of English who is an amateur policeman, close pal of a policeman who's an amateur literary critic. I'll try to post a couple of excerpts.

This book has a theater context. That's a negative for me; I find the whole theater thing wearisome, even when it's presented in a critical light. But I'll continue.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

knots and crosses

by Ian Rankin

I'm reading the first book in the John Rebus series. Set in Edinborough. Sgt. Rebus is after a serial killer. Shades of Inspector Morse, mostly in that the protagonist drinks and smokes to excess, and has various other personal problems. Really quite different from Morse, though. Rebus does more police "grunt work" than Morse ever did.

I'm not too far into it, but so far it's quite good. Rankin is a skilled writer, and not prone to the political or cultural correctness so typical of recent mystery writers.

Follow-up post here.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

becoming attached

Finally finished Becoming Attached by Robert Karen. Highly recommended for parents. But long -- 400 pages.

The author makes a potentially heavy, tedious subject more interesting by fleshing out the personalities of the various psychologists and analysts whose stories he is telling. Actually, their personalities are relevant to the the subject, which is the history and nature of attachment theory told within the history of child psychology.

It's a lot better than it sounds -- honest!

If you read it along with Hold On to Your Kids by Neufeld and Mata, you'll be as prepared as anyone can be to become a parent.