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Alexander the Great

Alexander's Literary Odyssey 2017

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3 hours ago, Athena said:

I'm glad you enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express :). I really liked it too.

 

Just curious, did you read it in Dutch or in English? I read it in English from my library but by now most of my Agatha Christie books are in Dutch, though I own a few English ones as well.

 

I read it in English, when the original is in English I usually try to read it in that language.

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20 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

I read it in English, when the original is in English I usually try to read it in that language.

 

That makes sense, I try to do that too :).

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Cards on the Table

Hercule Poirot's Christmas

Five Little Pigs

The Labours of Hercules

 

These are the four other stories in "The Best of Poirot".

 

I enjoyed reading these stories. They are pure detective stories, where the focus is really on the psychology of the characters and the crime being committed. Poirot is a very real character - an intelligent, observant, (sometimes painfully) honest man who also has his flaws, but doesn't deny them. In most stories, I couldn't guess who the culprit was, but it did make sense when explained. That's the best kind of detective story there is to me.

 

I can see why these are classics. In modern detective stories, so much focus lies on the personal life of the detective, on his personal demons. It was a breath of fresh air to have these stories where all of that doesn't matter. Poirot doesn't have an angsty background that takes up half of the stories, he doesn't have a personal grudge that blinds him, or some big mission. This is clear-cut whodunit, and I loved it.

 

My favourite stories were Murder on the Orient Express and Cards on the Table, my least favourite was The Labours of Hercules. The idea for the last one was good, but it often felt a bit far-fetched or uninteresting. 

 

This is a collection of stories printed in 1980 and in this edition, towards the end of the book, more and more typos came up. It got quite disturbing, as if they'd stopped bothering to edit at some point. But I would definitely recommend Poirot to other lovers of a good detective story.

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7 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

 

 

 

This is a collection of stories printed in 1980 and in this edition, towards the end of the book, more and more typos came up. It got quite disturbing, as if they'd stopped bothering to edit at some point. But I would definitely recommend Poirot to other lovers of a good detective story.

Sadly I find that with a lot of books now, the errors (typing or printing) are terrible, I wonder if they are proof read any more?

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14 hours ago, Madeleine said:

Sadly I find that with a lot of books now, the errors (typing or printing) are terrible, I wonder if they are proof read any more?

 

This isn’t the first book I’ve noticed this with either. The errors are usually small - spelling errors, or just a typo (something like ‘suppper’ instead of ‘supper’), but sometimes even a wrong character name! It grates me and tends to get me out of the zone for a few seconds so to speak. It’s very annoying. 

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Oh I hate it when there are errors in a book!

 

5 hours ago, Alexander the Great said:

It grates me and tends to get me out of the zone for a few seconds so to speak. It’s very annoying. 

 

This is what happens to me too when I spot an error.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed the Poirot stories though :).

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After reading the Poirot stories, I thought picking up a 'regular' detective novel would probably not be a great idea. But this is a book I own and had been planning to read next around the time I started reading Poirot. I thought wrong.

 

The Blood Detective

 

Brilliant. There's no other way to put it. On the front cover, it says: "Elegant writing, engaging characters, a cracking climax" - not hollow praise, it turns out. I agree wholeheartedly.

 

In this chilling pageturner, DCI Grant Foster and DS Jenkins turn to genealogist Nigel Barnes to help them solve a series of inexplicable murders in West London. It truly is a breathtaking rollercoaster of a read. The characters are indeed engaging - the focus is mainly on the three characters I mentioned earlier, which helps to really establish a connection with them. None of them are perfect, but they are likeable enough. I also thought it was quite interesting how differently Foster and Jenkins perceive the people they interact with. It helps make those other people very real, not at all one dimensional.

 

This is excellently plotted as well. The tension can be cut with a knife, the reveals are well-paced. There is just enough information and emphasis to allow you to work things out for yourself, without being able to guess the exact outcome. You can really think along with the detectives. The characters have enough background to really come to life, but not so much that it distracts from the main plot. The pace is excellent - not too fast, not too slow. 

 

I would recommend this to anyone who likes the genre. I immediately ordered the sequel and can't wait to start it.

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Who's the author, is it Dan someone (not Brown!), I think I might have looked at this one and wondered about getting it.

 

Edited to say it's Dan Waddell, and it is the same book!

Edited by Madeleine

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1 hour ago, Madeleine said:

Who's the author, is it Dan someone (not Brown!), I think I might have looked at this one and wondered about getting it.

 

Edited to say it's Dan Waddell, and it is the same book!

 

Yep, that's him! If you can still get it, I heartily recommend you read it!

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The Quickening Maze review

 

I don't know. This book is beautifully written - but that's about where it ends. 

 

The language is fluent and inviting, sucks you in and doesn't let you go. But there isn't much emotion in this book. We see the characters, but can't touch them, can't feel them. We stay too much on the surface for that. There also doesn't seem to be much of a point, much of a story. I don't mind a book not having much of a plot, but if the characters remain this superficial, not much is left. It's a shame, because this could have been a great book.

 

I don't regret reading it, and give it three stars for the language, but wouldn't recommend it.

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10 minutes ago, Alexander the Great said:

The Quickening Maze review

 

I don't know. This book is beautifully written - but that's about where it ends. 

 

The language is fluent and inviting, sucks you in and doesn't let you go. But there isn't much emotion in this book. We see the characters, but can't touch them, can't feel them. We stay too much on the surface for that. There also doesn't seem to be much of a point, much of a story. I don't mind a book not having much of a plot, but if the characters remain this superficial, not much is left. It's a shame, because this could have been a great book.

 

I don't regret reading it, and give it three stars for the language, but wouldn't recommend it.

 

I read this a few years ago, and remember loving it.  I’ve just dug out my review and realised it was six years ago. :o  If you’re interested, here’s a link to it. 

:) 

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