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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Isaac Newton
James Gleick
Progress: 32/289 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 468/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 242/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
From Aberystwyth with Love - Malcolm Pryce I'm an Aberystwyth alumnus, so it should come as no surprise that I hold Malcolm Pryce's Louie Knight series in affection. This fifth entry in the sequence is as good as any except, perhaps, the second one. The trademark Pryce style of absurdities and maudlin philosophising is present, this time with the balance tipped somewhat in favour of the philosphising.

For those not familiar with the series, Pryce has written about Louie Knight, Aberystwyth's only Private Eye. He works the mean streets of Aber, where organised crime, violence, corruption and vice all live side by side with the ice-cream stands, tourists, University and Welsh National Library. And that's the joke; Aber isn't the epitome of Noir fiction's cities - it's a small, old, quiet town on the West coast of Wales, unremarkable for the most part and yet held in affection by all the Uni alumni.

Pryce needed to dump a whole collection of ideas and characters from the previous books because they were getting tired and, bravely, he actually did it. This is perhaps why this book is slightly less strong on the comic absurdity; how many more Noir fiction/Welsh cultural cliches can he think of to stuff into stuffy old Aber thereby making them new, lively and hilarious? There's got to be a limit and it looks as if Pryce is nearing it. Perhaps this should be Knight's last case.