I really enjoyed this collection of short stories centered around Miss Marple, without question Christie's best, most interesting detective. It didn'tI really enjoyed this collection of short stories centered around Miss Marple, without question Christie's best, most interesting detective. It didn't hurt that two of the stories were recently adapted by ITV's Marple. I like the concept of a group of people, several of whom involved in the justice system, getting together every Tuesday to tell stories about crimes to which only the teller knows the solution.
Unsurprisingly, it's Miss Marple who ends up solving the crimes, a feat even more impressive because all she has at her disposal are the retellings of her friends. She has the uncanny ability to connect the crimes with everyday events in her small village of St. Mary Mead as well as her complex knowledge of human nature.
As always, Christie excels in her execution of the short story form. I will definitely be revisiting these stories in the future. ...more
I've been meaning to read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy for a very long time, and I've enjoyed his Words of Radiance series as well, but I deciI've been meaning to read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn trilogy for a very long time, and I've enjoyed his Words of Radiance series as well, but I decided to read this book when it came up for sale on Audible.
The audiobook itself was very pleasant listening as read by Alyssa Bresnahan, but I found the overall plot and pacing to be lacking. The premise was very interesting, concerning two previously warring countries and the steps both take to break or keep the fragile peace between them. There are tons of characters, from two royal sisters trying to do the right thing to a shadowy assassin, an all-powerful god king, and a gang of mercenaries after a quick buck. Though each character was well-written and full-fledged, I didn't find myself connecting with any of them. I also felt like the whole book was way too long and drawn out. Many of the passages went in circles and did nothing but increase the word count.
I will say though, that Sanderson is one of the best world builders out there. His worlds are so well formed and full of history. They're always easy to picture, with just enough details to get you invested while also not being pedantic. ...more
I don't know what I was expecting when I started this book, but it certainly wasn't this.
Agatha Christie is, to me and so many others, the queen of mI don't know what I was expecting when I started this book, but it certainly wasn't this.
Agatha Christie is, to me and so many others, the queen of mystery. Her mysteries, and the solving of them, rely on "the psychology" for Hercule Poirot. Miss Marple solves mysteries through keen observation and a wealth of experience in human nature. Tommy and Tuppence are aided by their youth, energy, and sheer moxie. Mr. Quin is different. Instead of solving mysteries straightforwardly, he works through the medium of Mr. Satterthwaite, a comfortably well-off man deeply entrenched in the lives of the upper class.
Mr. Satterthwaite himself is something of an enigma. He is a lone traveler in the world, jet-setting to many exotic locations and finding friends wherever he goes. He is affable, clever, and observant. Small wonder that Quin chooses him to be his eyes and ears when solving murders and mysteries. Quin's whole "schtick" is that he appears mysteriously and without warning in places where violent and unsolvable crimes have been committed. He then prompts Satterthwaite with well placed questions to find the solution to the mysteries, months or even years after the event occurred. Quin posits that events are much clearer and easier to parse after some time has passed and the emotion of the present is gone.
Throughout this collection of short stories, Christie shows Quin to be at once benevolent, capricious, just, and vindictive. He is not a man, but perhaps what his name suggests, a Harlequin, forever meddling in the lives of others....more
I was so excited when this play was first announced. I've loved Harry Potter since it first became an international phenomenon. I literally grew up wiI was so excited when this play was first announced. I've loved Harry Potter since it first became an international phenomenon. I literally grew up with Harry Potter as the first book became popular when I was 11 and the last book was published right before I went to college. J. K. Rowling has influenced my imagination, my viewpoint of the world, my literary tastes, and even my writing style.
If this book had come out when I was still a frenzied fan, eager to get my hands on any and every new material Rowling put out, I think I still would have been disappointed. But, while my love for Harry Potter endures, most of my interest and time nowadays go to other fandoms, like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. Even so, I excitedly looked forward to news about the play and wanted to read the play as soon as it came out.
But as time wore on and more and more disappointing news about the play was revealed, I lost interest. I really liked the casting of Hermione as a black woman, but was disappointed by the frankly racist reactions a few fans leveled against the play's creators. Then, when the details of the plot were revealed online, I found myself really unhappy with the entire premise of the plot.
Months after the release, I finally decided to sit down and read the screenplay. The more I read, the more I realized that this is a play that must be seen, not read. The dialogue, without the benefit of excellent actors' delivery, was awkward and stilted. Without seeing the special effects, the descriptions of visual elements of the show fell way short. Major characters were given entirely different personalities than their canon counterparts. Because that's how I see this play: glorified fan-fiction.
Note: I do not denounce fan-fiction in any sense with my criticism of this play. On the contrary I have read several "fics" that take the characters that Rowling wrote and gave them new life, while staying true to the spirit of the original books. ...more