This week’s reading:
R is for Ricochet, Sue Grafton
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
The Riddle of the Wren, Charles de Lint
No Adam in Eden, Grace Metalious
Nightwatch, Sergei Lukyanenko
Man, I love Jane Austen. I have to go dig up my compilation now; the only reason why I’m not reading Austen right now is because I haven’t had time to go find it. That’s what Shabbat is for!
Nightwatch is a good bit better than I’d expected, given the movie. Not that the movie was bad! But the book is distinctly better. The priceless bits are the throwaway lines - like the moment near the beginning when Anton starts to mentally curse out his boss, then realizes that his boss can hear when people are thinking about him. But there’s also real charm in the institutions of Night Watch and Day Watch. My only critique is that after the second time a character realizes, “Hey, this is all an elaborate plot and I’m just a pawn in the game,” it gets a little old. But the plots are sufficiently devious that I don’t mind as much as I otherwise might!
Oh, and I’m also not thrilled with the treatment of the female characters thus far, but I’ll give him to the end of the series before I decide I’m actually annoyed.
Speaking of annoyed: The Riddle of the Wren reminded me why I fucking hate fakey-fake, poorly realized fantasy-Europe analogues. The book was entirely saved by the main character leaving her one-long-cliche home and traveling to various parallel worlds, though not all of them were better.
No Adam in Eden was … I don’t even know how to describe it. A pulp novel written by a talented writer who uses some distinctly non-pulpy techniques, to tell the story of three generations of genuinely fucked-up women? Sadly, Metalious demonizes Monique’s desire for a better life, which I really identified with. Who would want to be a sexually and economically exploited mill worker if she had a choice?
Finally, I have no idea what’s going to become my “I’m stressed out and it’s the middle of the night” go-to reading, after I finish with the Grafton oeuvre. Advice please?