Thursday, February 23, 2006

No, I haven't finished the Maltese Falcon yet, I'm about 2/3 of the way through it. Very good, LOVED the scene where we first meet Cairo and he's holding the gun on Sam, so Sam (violently of course) takes the gun away from him, they talk, reach an agreement, Sam gives him the gun back, and Cairo immediately turns it on Sam again. Brilliant!

No, I haven't finished the Maltese Falcon yet, but I did start another book last night, called Are You Dave Gorman? Its a strange little book lent to me by co-worker Graig, and so far, is quite amusing. Its written by two friends who embark on a journey to find 54 other men named Dave Gorman. As you may have concluded, one of the authors of the book is named Dave Gorman. This whole adventure comes 'round during a drunken bet, when the other author refuses to believe that there are other people around who are named Dave Gorman. So, that night, they find themselves on a train to Scotland to find the first of the other Dave Gorman's, a general manager of a Scottish soccer team. It's all quite amusing, very quirky and British, and despite the fact that it is written by two separate people, their writing styles mesh well without losing each distinct voice.

I've also made a promise that I will try and launch myself into Love in the Time of Cholera again. So yeah, after finishing my searches for falcons and Dave Gormans, I will go back to cholera. Maybe.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

I finished The Thin Man last night. Good book. I didn't guess who the killer was, so that usually makes a good detective novel in my book. My initial impressions of it held true, I liked Hammett's brief, economical word usage. Stylistically, it really shone when he was describing fights, it made the violence seem more brutal and fast. And it was a nice contrast with the more upper-class scenes. The characters for the most part were so quirky and set up nicely with multiple motives so that you really could keep guessing who dun it until the end. I definitely want to see the movie now.

I started Maltese Falcon, on the subway this morning. So far my impression is that Sam Spade looks nothing like Humphrey Bogart, and is not a terribly nice person. Awesome.

Still working my way through the Chronicles of Narnia. I haven't read any of it in over a week (mainly because I wasn't home this past weekend at all), but I'm close to finishing, I'm on the Silver Chair now. I still love these books so much.

Monday, February 06, 2006

I've been remiss in posting to this I see.

Let's see, what have I read (or re-read) since I was last here?

I'm half way through The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett. Despite my adoration for 80s detective shows (Magnum P.I., Simon & Simon, Remington Steele) and cop dramas, I have not read a lot of detective fiction. Not sure why, just haven't. But so far, I'm really enjoying Hammett. He has an economy of style that is great, especially given my other great reading love is fantasty lit, which is often overblown and over-descriptive. But reading Hammett is like being a detective yourself; he'll just suddenly drop something descriptive into the narrative out of nowhere and forces you to go back and figure out how this may or may not change what you've already found out. One of my favourite instances of this is, about 5 or 6 chapters in, well after we've met the main characters of Nick and Nora, Hammett just casually slips in that Nick is significantly older than Nora. I honestly had no idea, and suddenly, armed with this knowledge, I had to rethink their entire relationship. Did he marry her for her (family's) money? Did she marry him to rebel against her wealthy family? It was an awesome bomb Hammett dropped just matter of factly, the way he delivers all his words. Really enjoying it, and will give an update once I've reached the end.

I've been slightly distracted from the Thin Man because I've launched into a re-reading of the entire Chronicles of Narnia. It's actually been a few years since I re-read them, but I was inspired to after seeing The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I realized, as I watched the movie that I really missed a lot of Lewis' turns of phrases that just weren't in the movie much, so back I went to the books. I still love them and, no matter what some critics say, I'm still not hit over the head with the Christian allegory, even though I know its there now. I'm nearly finished Voyage of the Dawn Treader, so only two more to go. (I read the Chronicles in order of the internal, Narnian timeline, so I start with the Magician's Nephew). Funny, my favourite is still the Horse and His Boy. I'll always love poor, proud Bree the most.