Books 2/10/04

Since my last post I’ve read 4 1/2 books, 2 by the hasn’t failed me yet Miss Agatha Christie- Taken by the Flood which had a slow beginning but turned out quite well, and Witness for the Prosecution a collection of short stories. Again, some of the stories caught me very much by suprise, being far more spiritualistic or odd circumstance stories than murder mysteries. Still, they were very enjoyable.
Next up was the 1/2 book, which I’m still quite bitter about- Inamorata by Joseph Gangemi. I wrote in a previous post about how I’d hesitated buying this book as it was a hardcover- well it turned out to be quite worth the purchase, and I was about half way through it and quite enjoying it when I accidentally left it at a trolley stop. I realized it was missing by the time we reached the next stop, but someone had taken it in the 5 minutes it took me to get back. As I said, I’m quite bitter, as I was enjoying it and would like to know how it ends, but don’t really feel like buying it again- seeing as it’s a hardcover. SEETHE…SEETHE….SEETHE…
The same day as the book theft, I received a shipment from, YAY! They sent an ecclectic, but not as random as it could be selection of books, and I began with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I’ve been meaning to read this book for quite a while, and had never gotten around to it- thank goodness for Booksfree. The style of the writing was really what impressed me most in this novel, it manages to be expansive and descriptive while at the same time seeming to hold words tight to its chest- if that makes any sense whatsoever. The characterization of the main character (I really don’t think you ever find out her name) is very well done, you completely understand where she’s coming from while at the same time wanting to shake her out of it. I assume you’re not supposed to know the truth about Rebecca until closer to the end, but I had a feeling about her from the beginning, so wasn’t as suprised when the truth came out. I’d like to see the film now- I think it would be interesting if Rebecca was never on screen- so the audience has the same experience as the main character, only knowing Rebecca through what other people said about her.
Following Rebecca comes another novel named after it’s “main” character, Agyar by Stephen Brust. The jury in my head is still out on this one. Brust is one of my favorite authors, which I think was a detriment when it came to reading this novel. It’s very different in style and theme from his other novels, and I think that caused me a bit of hesitation in the first chapters. It’s kind of like picking up a glass that you believe has lemonade and tasting horchada for the first time. Takes a little while to get used to, and longer to like, and by the end you wish that you had liked it at the beginning so you could have enjoyed the whole experience. Agyar is made up of the main character John Agyar’s journal-type writings, and as such can be rather vague. Large character points go unsaid- in the true “show not tell” tradition- in exchange for clues you put together to figure out exactly what John is. This technique actually works pretty well, making John a mystery to piece together as he pieces together his own mystery, but at points in the story the vagueness of events gets a little frustrating. Overall I think I liked it- it’s an interesting spin on one of my favorite genres, and John is a charming addition to the ranks of those in that genre. (Yes, I’m being vague myself, I don’t want to ruin the suprise for anyone).

Current Count: 12
Just Finished: Agyar by Stephen Brust
Up Next: Emma by Jane Austen

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