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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Station Zero
Philip Reeve
Progress: 220/282 pages
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition
Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess
Progress: 749/997 pages
The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry
Robert Chandler
The Uncertain Land and Other Poems
Patrick O'Brian
Progress: 8/160 pages
The Heptameron (Penguin Classics)
Marguerite de Navarre
Progress: 152/544 pages
The Poems and Plays of John Masefield
John Masefield
Progress: 78/534 pages
Poems Selected
Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes
Progress: 4/50 pages
Selected Poems
U A Fanthorpe
Progress: 18/160 pages
The Penguin Book of Scottish Verse
Mick Imlah, Robert Crawford
Hainish Novels & Stories, Vol. 2
Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 133/789 pages
Sudden Mischief - Robert B. Parker My second encounter with Parker's Boston PI, Spenser, was OK but it has some flaws.

Spenser's long-term girlfriend, Susan Silverman, seems to get on the nerves of many readers and she's beginning to annoy me, too, but I'm finding Hawk fairly annoying, as well. Hawk is Spenser's hitman pal and favourite convenient assistant. He's big, he's tough and if he's not intimidating someone he's bantering with Spenser. And that's the problem, for me. It's not the character, it's his dialogue and specifically his dialogue with Spenser, which is so snappy that I feel most of my teeth are likely to...snap...when I'm reading it. It takes the wise-cracking of Philip Marlowe to an extreme that feels contrived and unrealistic. So it's unfair to blame it all on Hawk, really; Spenser is as much to blame.

I think it's fairly easy for me to overdose on macho posturing, too and I did with this book. The whole-sale Freudian psychology of characterisation and character analysis also bugs me, which - bringing us full circle - is the main reason Wunder-therapist, Susan Silverman, irritates me.