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"A Scottish Wind in the Willows on high end skunk."

"I enjoy Kate's stories..."
"A fun and spooky read..."

"The characters are so involving and
loveable that you do want them to really exist. It does read like you've
stumbled across someone's long lost diary from and alternate timeline/universe.
I quickly got into the story and loved every second of reading it...
total gem of a read by an author who deserves a lot more recognition."


Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Now Reading...JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, and others....

I finally finished reading JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy last night.  I don't read much contemporary fiction, and never best sellers, so it's not my usual kind of book, but I got quite gripped by it. Anyone who follows the blog (hello, new reader from Kazakhstan) might remember that I bought this book in a charity shop a couple of months ago.  If it hadn't been a bargain buy I would never have chosen it.  I can't say I'm glad I did, but reading it was quite an experience all the same.  I didn't take to the first quarter or so, but I persevered, and as I persevered I gradually got drawn into the story almost against my better instincts, and became weirdly interested to see what happened next - interested to the extent that I could hardly put the book down during the last chapters.  I suppose that's what happens when you read Harry Potter books - I haven't read any of those, yet.  The Casual Vacancy is actually even grimmer than the lurid reviews led me to expect.  Unremittingly grim, with an appallingly sad end.  However, much of it is, unfortunately for us humans, pretty true to some aspects of life.  I skimmed through a fair bit of it to get to the interesting bits of plot, and didn't engage at all with quite a few of the characters - in fact I still wasn't sure who they all were, at the end. The ones who were most engaging were the teenagers - and the dead man (a nice bloke, with a ginger beard), who forms the hub of the story and links everyone together.   The rest of the adults were a pretty vile and graceless bunch.
I reckon the book could have been edited down by about a quarter, at least.
I might have a crack at one of her detective stories next - I bet they're equally gripping.  They'll need to be available in the library or charity shop bargain shelf though.
I mention the library because I FINALLY managed to find some books to borrow.  Blog readers will know that the quality of books in my local library has been RUBBISH of late.  However, this week I found Tony Benn's last 'Diaries' (I love a political diary!), A Female Genius by James Essinger, which is about how Byron's daughter Ada Lovelace started the computer age (apparently), and a biography of William Burroughs.  I think the Diaries are going to be the best of the three as far as I'm concerned.  The Burroughs book mentions Irvine Welsh in the blurb, and that immediately makes me want to put it back on the shelf again.  I read Burroughs as a teenager, and wasn't hugely keen - I think I felt I should like him, but didn't.  What he was though, was interesting.  Which is almost always good.  I'll see how I get on with the biography.  The Essinger, I suspect, will be dull, because they've put a contemporary spin on it. But I love the Romantic era, so I'll try to keep an open mind, and give it my best shot.

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