What I read in September 2019 (Part 1)

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde had been on my list of books to look out for ever since it was published last year. It perhaps wasn’t the best time to request this book from the library, when I was feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted. There is a lot about sleep and dreams in it; ironically in an overheated environment I kept falling asleep over it.

As Jasper Fforde is one of my (many) favourite authors I reread the book carefully before its three weeks’ loan was over. It was much easier to follow the plot the second time round. There were hints at what was going on, but with a large character cast, a complex social system, new uses for existing words and neologisms aplenty, knowing how some of the threads had been tied up helped me make more sense of the beginning. As usual Fforde has created a wealth of literature for the backstory to this novel from which he quotes at the beginning of each chapter. There are also his customary footnotes, which add to the text in an amusing way.

It is fantasy about an alternative reality. The humour is very dark in places. Readers familiar with classical literature, celebrities and books will appreciate this book better than those who are less widely read. Some knowledge of the geography of Wales might also help. I had to research some of the celebrities (i.e. ask hubby!) and probably should check some Greek myths.

Or you could just read it and use a search engine to see whether any of the character names have been recycled! Another good candidate for reading groups to discuss.

The Jazz Files – Book review

That I bought this book last Friday morning, began reading it in the afternoon and finished it in the evening is a recommendation by itself.  The story is well constructed.  I spent the whole of one chapter wondering whether there was an error in what the film industry calls continuity, only to discover it was an important element in the plot.

I had put off reading the book as I was uncertain whether it was a crime novel or a historical novel.  The former is not a genre I enjoy now, but the latter is.  I am going to declare that this is a historical novel.  It is set in the 20th century and whether any crimes have been committed, well, why don’t you read it and find out?

I am still puzzled by one sentence, which has been transcribed from Russian.  It perhaps is not important to have the meaning, but having a passing acquaintance with the language, I’d have liked to have been able to work out what it meant.  I failed. Я не знаю.  I don’t know!

However I do know that I’ll be looking out for the next in the Poppy Denby series by Fiona Veitch Smith.