Jaja, så var det over for denne gang. Blir nok en stund til jeg leser krim igjen. Ikke fordi Harry Hole bøkene er dårlige, tvert imot. Fordi de er for bra, på en måte. Alt for spennende, eller engasjerende eller hva det nå er. Jeg er ikke så glad i å bli skremt, egentlig, så derfor burde jeg opplagt holde meg langt unna denne typen bøker. Vi får se hvor lenge jeg husker det denne gangen.
Nå begynner jeg å bli irritert. Det er ikke rettferdig å la sånne ting henge i flere bøker på rad. Noe av poenget med krim er at når saken er løst er saken løst. Løser tråder hører hjemme i det virkelige liv og har ingenting i en krimroman å gjøre.
Nå husker jeg hvorfor jeg ikke liker krim. Krimforfattere har en ekkel vane med å ta liv av folk, og av og til tar de liv av folk man liker. Fy, Nesbø, det var ikke snillt. Du må lære av Agata Christie, der er nesten alle mordofrene folk som uansett fortjente sin skjebne. Jeg skjønner jo at det blir mer engasjerende og slikt når kriminaliteten går ut over folk man har rukket å bli kjent med, men jeg liker det ikke.
Dessuten er krim alt for stressende. God krim, altså. Skummelt, mener jeg. Jeg tror slett ikke det er sunt. Vel, vel. Three down, two to go.
Tid for påske, tid for krim. Eller noe. I hvert fall er krim kjekt å lese på hytta, så jeg fant ut at jeg kanskje endelig skulle få kommet meg gjennom resten av Nesbø sine bøker om Harry Hole (jeg begynte jo litt i feil rekkefølge siden jeg leste Kakkerlakkene først, påsken for to år siden, var det vel). Flaggermusmannen er grei krim. Kanskje ikke den beste jeg har lest, men langt fra den verste heller. Harry Hole er akkurat passe sympatisk og usympatisk på samme tid og denne gangen gjettet jeg ikke løsningen før det var meningen at jeg skulle gjette den, noe som er helt greit for meg.
In which we amble pleasantly.
Alexander McCall Smith’s The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency is said by people who ought to know to paint a fairly accurate picture of life in Botswana. I have no idea as to the veracity of this, but it seems likely to be true. There is a wonderful sense of unhurriedness in this book, about Precious Ramotswe, who, following her father’s death and her inheritance of his amassed «fortune» – cattle, which she sells – becomes the first Lady detective in the country. It is not a detective novel in the sense of western European literary traditions. There is mystery, definitely, and crime and cruelty, at least potential cruelty, but there is no temptation to turn to the last page to check «whodunnit». In fact, there is an amazing contradiction in the «feel» of the book, for while it feels unhurried and relaxed, like a good cup of tea in the shade under a tree, there is also a drive to the story which makes the pages fly by.
Highly recommended, by both me and Pia (who lent me the book), which ought to be more than enough for you. Go read it!
In which we’re somewhat lonesome tonight.
A little sick of unsatisfying travelling companions, I followed Native Stranger with a Sarah Shankman (her of I Still Miss my Man but my Aim is getting Better fame) novel I picked up in Fjærland called The King is Dead. It’s a sort of a crime novel, and very entertaining. It reminded me, not only of how much of my reading has concentrated on the British Isles, but how much of what isn’t British is set in either the midwest (Minnesota and such) or in the Pacific north-west (Oregon, Washington, British Columbia). The southern themes of Shankman’s novels feel almost alien at times (what with all the Elvis impersonators, it almost is). The dialect certainly is. I also find myself getting the characters mixed up because of the similarity (to me) of their names, as if they were all called Billy-Sue and Billy-Bob (though, in fact, there wasn’t a single Billy). I hadn’t realised before quite how the regional nature of names actually affects the «feel» of a story. It’s the literal equivalent of «all chinamen look identical» – a fallacy which is true only in cases of unfamiliarity (did that make any sense whatsoever?). Whatever. I want to read more Shankman. I also want to read more «Southern» books, once I get over this Scottish phase. It was a timely reminder of how large (and diverse) the North American continent is. I have been thinking that I ought to read more books not written in English. Evidently, I ought likewise to consider some of those traditions in English literature that I have obviously been ignoring.
So much to read, so little time.
In which we go south.
Just finished Sarah Shankman’s I Still Miss my Man, but my Aim is Getting Better. It has to be one of the best book titles ever, which is a bit of a pity in way because it leaves the poor little book a lot to live up to. And it doesn’t quite manage. That said, it’s highly entertaining. The novel’s set in Nashville, and centres on Shelby, who’s left her good-for-nothing husband to come there to make it big as a songwriter. Take an ex-husband who just doesn’t understand the phrase «it’s over», add at least three jealousy-dramas, a crookster with nothing to loose, a kidnapping, an old star who’s been in hiding for 30 years, rather a lot of Smith & Wessons and kitchen knives and two angels, one good, one bad, who have their separate ideas of how the story would best turn out, and you’ve got yourself a rippin’ good yarn. I can think of worse ways to spend a Sunday afternoon. And now, pretty much inevitably, I’m listening to Patsy Cline and wondering whether I can get hold of These Boots are made for Walking.