Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A week in December

A Week in December
Sebastian Faulks

This is the first Faulks book I've read. I'll probably try another because although this one was a bit disjointed, it kept me interested.

It tells the story of several British families over the period of one week (the week before Christmas) in 2007. Sadly, I could not identify with any of the families, they were all strangers to me. It begins with the wife of a newly elected M.P. planning a dinner party to show off her husband and to put him in front of powerful/famous people.

There's a powerful hedge-fund manager, who you just cannot like, a Yorkshire/Scottish/Asian family, rich and famous for their 'British' pickles, and several others too forgettable to describe. There are two man backgrounds to the story in my mind: the collapse of British banking caused by greed an self-service and terrorism. The terrorism comes from the son of the the Asian family - whilst his father prepares to attend the palace to receive an MBE (or such) his, son is in France buying bomb ingredients.

A fair read, but as I say - for me, disjointed [in several ways].

Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Winter Ghosts

The Winter Ghosts
Kate Mosse

I enjoyed reading Mosse's first book Labyrinth so much that we visited Carcassonne (I'd wanted to go anyway, it sounded so 'French') a few years ago. On that holiday, I chose to read Sepulchre, another of Kate Mosse's books, set in a similar area of Languedoc - we were even able to visit the villages detailed in the book, while reading it! (TOURISTS!!!). I wasn't as thrilled about book two, but it was a good enough read. [I blogged this at the time:]

Winter Ghosts therefore, was one of those books I bought and set aside to read in comfort and once again, in France (but the north this time).

The author admits at the end of her book, that the plot was originally published as a short story. She had re-visited it and re-published as a novel.

It shows!

I nearly gave up a few times. Almost a third of the book is pure fluff, I never really felt any link with the main character until he got to the (fictional) village and met people there. From here on, the story was fine and enjoyable - but the first third ---- Nah!

I'm sure thee will be a clamour for Citadel when it's released in September, but I'm not sure whether I will be one of the clamourers!