It’s been far too long since I last posted reviews of the books we’ve been reading for bookgroup, and there are now too many to review individually. So here are my one line or paragraph reviews of the ones I’ve read since Handmaid’s Tale.
Notes on a Scandal – Zoe Heller – Not a classic, but worth a read, and a great example of an unreliable narrator.
The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins – I liked this one. Another unreliable narrator and some fairly obvious plot devices, but it’s a page turner.
The House of Silk – Anthony Horowitz – Interesting new Sherlock Holmes story. It’s worth reading the author’s rules for writing Holmes in a way that sticks to the spirit of the original. He mostly keeps to them, although the demands of modern novels in terms of length and structure mean that it’s longer and has more action than the originals.
The Geneva Trap – Stella Rimington – A reasonable but unremarkable spy thriller. As a former director general of the MI5, she ought to know her stuff but in the end it’s a little formulaic.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera – Food for thought, and impossible to sum up in a sentence. So I won’t even try.
Good Night, Mr Holmes – Carole Nelson Douglas – Holmes again, this time a rewrite of Scandal in Bohemia from Irene Adler’s perspective. A total contrast to House of Silk, breaking a good few of the rules that Anthony Horowitz imposed on himself. The middle section in Bohemia does have that authenticate “long section between the plot bookends” that characterises the original full length novels, but otherwise it was merely OK.
I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes – Ludicrously over the top thriller obviously written with an eye on the movie (or even movie franchise) and featuring some of the most extreme examples of what TV Tropes calls Critical Research Failure I’ve ever read. Just don’t – DON’T – get me started on the mirror thing…
I’ve almost caught up, with just a couple to go, and I’ll try to give them a slightly longer treatment. I’m also catching up on all the Discworld books I haven’t read, and the more I read the more I’ll miss the talent of Sir Terry Pratchett.