Wednesday, 16 May 2007

What I read on my holidays

As a literate member of society, I feel it's my duty to inform, nay warn, people about the 'airport bestsellers' I forced myself through during my week off. So, for better or for worse (mostly worse) here's the inaugural Pat's holiday reading review:

William Napier 'Attila: the scourge of god'
Standard swords and sandals fiction that has unfortunately become much more popular but much less good in the wake of 'Gladiator', 'Alexander' et al. The usual mix: historical inaccuracies, sex, stereotypical characters, violence, and more historical inaccuracies. This is the first of a trilogy. You can almost hear Napier or his agent trying to sell it to a third-rate Hollywood producer if you listen carefully.

Ian Rankin 'The Flood'
I'm normally a fan of his Rebus detective books, but this is Rankin's first published novel and in a different genre. It's got all the hallmarks of a first novel from someone coming into their own in a 'young' literature (in this case Scotland). It reminded me a lot of so-called 'Australian literature', only being Scotland the weather and characters are much more depressed. Nevertheless, it's not bad. Has stuff to say, says it via an interesting narrative. Apparently this gets studied at university these days. I doubt this review does it justice. This book serves to remind us that even successful writers write adolescent, trying a little too hard, should have stayed a short story, novels.

Dean Koontz 'The Taking'
This book serves to remind us that even successful writers write absolute drivel.

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