Sunday, February 08, 2015

Reading matters

My vigilant personal Amazonian will have duly noted that the latest book by Ms Gabaldon, Written in my Heart's Blood,  accounted for twelve consecutive evening reading sessions, which made it at around EUR 7 a value-for-money proposition that any Scot would appreciate.

And my verdict? The Outlander series pemits its author much freedom. This she takes frequently to describe in detail the sexual couplings of protagonists who must now surely be hearty sexagenarians. But flipping forward a few Kindle screens takes care of that. Then there are accounts of medical and surgical interventions which after while pall but can also be dismissed with a few thumb-clicks.

Yet I find that extraneous narrative excursions like these encourage me in my own storytelling, giving me permission to digress (sometimes at length) and touch on topics which are only marginal to the tale I am attempting to tell. The eventual reader (were I to have even one such) is free to fast-forward if he or she so desires.

My next Kindle investment was The Pucelle Connection, the sixth outing of Genevieve Lenard. Estelle Ryan’s heroine has high-functioning autism spectrum disorder. Here the writer’s parentheses concerning this complex set of turmoils connected to brain development cannot possibly be skipped, nor can her insights into the world of art crime or insurance fraud.

Just for the record, after these most satisfying multi-layer reads I opted for something a bit more conventional, Sea Change, impeccably crafted by Robert B.Parker. No additional thumb exercise when following one of Jesse Stone’s cases.

Most recently I spent a coupleof evenings with East of Innocence by David Thorne. Loads of brutality, a huge helping of sentimentality, a milieu study I could probably have done without. But what a wonderful book title!

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