I liked the refreshing angle of a young girl chemist being the solver of mysteries and death.
But I'm biased for British backdrops.
On the other hand,I liked the refreshing angle of a young girl chemist being the solver of mysteries and death.
But I'm biased for British backdrops.
On the other hand, I disliked the contrived mention of UK brands, landmarks, old phrasing and such... because they felt forced. I read that the author has never been to the UK so I guess it felt natural to make up the lack of authenticity with such mentions.
Also the little girl seemed rather pompous. Which wasn't exactly adorable in a... 9 year old (I forgot her age, it must have been something ridiculous like that).
Overall, I did enjoy it.
It was short and sweet and simple enough. Also the plot was engaging and easy to follow. I have started on book two, so far it's not as gripping though.
**spoiler alert** This was the first time I read anything of PD James.A friend of mine was very happy when she saw me reading it and shouted gleefully**spoiler alert** This was the first time I read anything of PD James.A friend of mine was very happy when she saw me reading it and shouted gleefully that she was one of her favourite authors.
Yet this book left me disappointed.
I read this, watched the TV adaptation. Still I was not sated.
Lizzy Bennet, now Mrs. Darcy, lost so much of the Lizzy I've come to know and love in various adaptations and the original text. Maybe it is, in itself a brilliance. We keep on growing even though we are already grown.
We outgrow the cheerful, youthful self and enter the adulthood of responsibility. Of being calm and measured and well behaved. Of being respected and respectful and considering and no longer headstrong. And, along with it, becoming just another woman in the large household that bustles after the master of the house and have little voice.
Extraordinary became ordinary.
And ordinary really has not much place in an extraordinary setting like a murder on the estate.
I always hoped, wished, maybe dreamed, even, that Elizabeth Bennet would have more influence over her husband's measured, cold attitude and his stiff upbringing. I mean after all, he did toss that all behind him when he uttered the words 'In vain have I struggled. It will not do...'
But somehow he seemed to have had a greater impact on her, in this attempt of a sequel.
In the end I liked the TV adaptation better than the book. The book is well composed. Balanced. Safe.
The telly, in its telly fashion, had Lizzy Bennet save the day. A close that attempted to round up everything with a pseudo happy ending.
But even that rang a bit on the false side, when most of the time Mrs. Darcy was in self-doubt and insecurity and suspicions.
But the end, the end had a bit of a shadow of the old Lizzy.
The book? It just reached a close. As books should. Were it not for the fact that the characters in the book carried with them names that were so well known, it would have been a satisfying, if not thrilling, mystery....more
I know, I know, I'm behind in the game, what with Discworld taking up half (well, quite a sizeable proportion at least)My first ever Terry Pratchett.
I know, I know, I'm behind in the game, what with Discworld taking up half (well, quite a sizeable proportion at least) of my to-read list.
Dodger is the story of a nobody with a gallant heart, and with wits about him as people living on the streets in the days of Victorian London would have to have in order to survive. It is about his past as well as his future, about the change that befell him one stormy night.
I must say I enjoyed the read rather more than I would have expected.
Big names in literature often lead to my hesitation in picking the works up, despite having heard countless recommendations. But this was approachable, and quite easy to lose oneself into.
I enjoyed the little cameos thrown in as well, I suppose you could sum this novel up as about a nobody being at the right place at the right time, doing and/or saying the right things, and thus getting to know the right people.
A bit of a play of fate, if you will.
And whilst the currency gave me a headache and the slang usage took some getting used to, I must confess I spent a lot of time afterwards on the internet and more specifically wikipedia looking at titbits and detailed (albeit maybe not entirely accurate) accounts on the historical personnel that played a role in this book.
I doubt there will be another volume in the story of Dodger, though I certainly wouldn't mind reading more about him, both before and after the incidents described in this book.
I suppose I shall await someone someday making a tv movie out of it instead....more
**spoiler alert** This is the first of the Tommy and Tuppence series, a lesser known series by Agatha Christie focusing on a pair of young friends tha**spoiler alert** This is the first of the Tommy and Tuppence series, a lesser known series by Agatha Christie focusing on a pair of young friends that by the end of this book decided to marry each other.
I didn't like it much, mainly for Tuppence.
Maybe back in the time when Agatha Christie wrote it the most extraordinary thing a woman could do was loudly admitting she loved money and would marry for money and thus be declared assertive and witty.
I mean, the things she did was smart, alright. But they were built on behaviours like outlandish shopping, squeeing over money, and such loud proclamation of love for wealth and the will to marry for money that made her nothing more than a paper cut-out bad stereotype.
I enjoyed the narratives more when they were focusing on the other parties involved in this particular adventure, but when they were on her it seemed to just again and again demonstrate how Agatha Christie, as a female writer, looked down upon her own sex.
Were it not for the fact that I'd like to finish the Agatha Christie collection on my kindle in the published chronological order, I may very well skip all future Tommy and Tuppence adventures just to save me the trouble of having to see Tuppence again....more
This is the first time I read an Agatha Christie without having first seen it's screen adaptation, though I have no doubt there will be one somewhere.This is the first time I read an Agatha Christie without having first seen it's screen adaptation, though I have no doubt there will be one somewhere. It's also the first time I almost felt like I couldn't quite carry on with the content as it was a bit dry to my taste.
But maybe it's down to being the first of the whole collection of books, though it is less refined than the latter ones, it is no less entertaining. I have an affinity for period settings, so it was easy to imagine the story.
This was meant to be a short and sweet in-between read after having finished Cloud Atlas and The Hobbit. Two monster pieces of work. Cloud Atlas in particular gave me a hard time, and whilst The Hobbit was less a monstrous piece, the re-reading of which still proved to be rather tiresome immediately after the former.
This had been, overall, a much needed recovery read. Almost akin to one of those guilty pleasure light chick-lit reads I sometimes indulge in. It's like watching two profound big epic films back to back and then returning home watching a silly telly show.
I know this story inside out for some reason. I don't believe I've read it before, but to be honest I cannot be quite so sure.
And I don't think I've sI know this story inside out for some reason. I don't believe I've read it before, but to be honest I cannot be quite so sure.
And I don't think I've seen any adaptation of this either.
Either way, I picked this up last night and finished it in just under 4 hours.
I think Agatha Christie is not great for writing detective or mystery novels. She's great for capturing the human mindset.
This novel is a perfect demonstration of such ability.
The way each guests thinks, doubts, suspects and is tortured with their own thoughts and fears. The fantastical description of how the dark side of human minds are at work. The endless questioning and cunning of each individual.
They are all so lively. Reading this book was like watching a play, a movie.
Knowing whodunit from the start did not spoil the story for me. It may have, in fact, enhanced it. To see that particular character at work, to comprehend the actions, and the derailed mind.
I shall refrain from picking up another until I finish Alan Glynn's Limitless. But oh the temptation!...more
I finished this one two days ago, was just lazy to type it out.
Another reason was I wasn't not sure what I could add to the Agatha Christie glory alreI finished this one two days ago, was just lazy to type it out.
Another reason was I wasn't not sure what I could add to the Agatha Christie glory already out there. I always liked mystery and detective novels, most of the ones I've read however, prior to the 3 years spent in the UK, were in Chinese.
I have the full Arsen Lupin collection, as well as the Sherlock Holmes collection, in Chinese, sitting next to me right this very minute. In Taiwan and Japan, Arsen Lupin is a lot bigger a deal than Sherlock Holmes. At least such was the case of my generation.
I suspect the reason being French are inherently more romantic, and thus their stories presents themselves more romantic as well; while the English are...well, not dull, but oh-so-formal, and stiff. Sherlock can never be the ladies man, the moment he starts speaking that mysterious air of his vaporises, turning stern.
Anyway, Agatha Christie is English, and so...not very romantic. Poirot is set to be Belgian, but still more English than believable.
But I picked this out of my ebooks one night after watching the ITV movie adaptation. So it lives up to the task. She's truly remarkable in story telling, the dear Agatha. The story flows, the characters are, so lively (even though just a touch more stiff than in real life, but consider the time...I can live with that). And my favourite character of them all must be M. Bouc. He's more alive than anyone in the story. But that's just me.
I always dreaded picking up Agatha Christie, for there are so many. I was given a Poirot collection couple Christmases back, by my not-so-much-better-but-one-can't-complain other half, who saw me wasting time on a pc game demo based on her work. I don't think I really read it, I just picked it up to make him feel like he didn't waste the money.
Also I had it in my head that her work would be difficult to read. I am more into modern mysteries and detective novels, like the Jeffrey Deaver type.
But this was surprisingly fluent, for a person that's native tongue isn't English. I've been working on finishing the novel Limitless (or The Dark Fields), which the movie is based upon, but it's narrative left me with a headache so I stop constantly. With Murder on the Orient Express my only stops were when I was attending my Grandmother's funeral, and when I fell asleep while reading.
By the way I tend to read just before bed time, so falling asleep while reading (especially after spending the entire day working on translation or surfing the web), is a common thing. So the above statement was meant to be complimentary.
I think I'll pick another Agatha Christie book, for my next read....more