Friday, 27 January 2012

Durham University Library

I had a very brief visit to Durham University Lbrary last week as we were doing a presentation at an event. Unfortunately I wasn't feeling very well so didn't stay for a tour of the library - will have to go back again for a good look round asap.

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Saturday, 7 January 2012

The Finkler Question

I have finally finished reading The Finkler Question. It took me ages, more than two weeks. I found it difficult to get into and difficult to relate to any of the characters. But it was worth persevering and I found it worthwhile to read. The characters were tiresome, well at least the male characters were and you felt that you were constantly losing patience with them - the female characters were appealing especially Hephzibah but why did she bother with Julian Treslove??? It was interesting, funny and infuriating.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Mapp and Lucia and Modesty Blaise

I've been meaning to read Mapp and Lucia for a while and finally got round to it in the Christmas holidays. It is about two ladies who live in a small town in the south of England - based on Rye, Sussex I think. It is set in the 20s/30s and involves the day to day comings and goings of the middle class ladies and their social circle. There is a lot of one-upmanship and general outwitting of each other in order to be the social queen bee. None of the characters are nice or appealing and it is humorous in a very harsh and mocking way really - a bit like a nasty Agatha Christie - no murder but plenty of character assassination. I do like books set in the early 20th century in England but this was a bit too 'clever' for me and as such dated. But despite it being of its time and very much reflecting the lifestyle and background of the author, I did enjoy it.

Next I read Modesty Blaise - The Gabriel Set-Up. I love Modesty Blaise books and have read all of them (more than once). I like goodies triumphing over baddies with a good plot, mystery and a bit of fighting but not too gruesome. I like Modesty and Sir Gerald Tarrant. My son Ben (teenager2) bought me this one which is in the original cartoon format - he wanted me to read it in 'pure and original format'?? I wouldn't have chosen to read it as a cartoon or graphic novel but I really enjoyed it and the drawings matched really well with my mental images of the characters from the text. I would definitely think about reading more graphic novels and will look for more Modesty Blaise originals and cartoons from that era.