Janet

Janet's Log - Stardate 2017

190 posts in this topic

I watched the last series and I did enjoy it, just not as much as the first two.  I think we watched The Abominable Bride from our hotel room and went to dinner late - I'm pretty sure it was on the New Year we went away to Plymouth!  I thought  it was okay - not great, but okay - but my husband wasn't at all keen!

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026-2017-Apr-08-The%20Sitterford%20Myste

 

The Sitterford Mystery by Agatha Christie

 

The ‘blurb’

A séance in a snowbound Dartmoor house predicts a grisly murder…

 

In a remote house in the middle of Dartmoor, six shadowy figures huddle around a small table for a séance. Tension rises as the spirits spell out a chilling message: ‘Captain Trevelyan… dead… murder.’

 

Is this black magic or simply a macabre joke? The only way to be certain is to locate Captain Trevelyan. Unfortunately, his home is six miles away and, with snow drifts blocking the roads, someone will have to make the journey on foot…

 

When Mrs and Miss Willett hold a séance (referred to throughout the book "table-turning", a phrase I have never heard before!) it is only meant to be a bit of fun.  They have invited a select few from the village they are staying in for the winter: Major Burnaby, Mr Rycroft Mr Garfield and Mr Duke.  The evening starts out well, but when they are informed by the spirit that Captain Trevelyan, the Willetts' Landlord who lives in the next village, is dead, Burnaby insists on walking through the deep snow to see if his friend is okay.   Despite the terrible conditions outside, it being winter and there having been a snowstorm recently, Burnaby sets out to Exhampton on foot – is it possible that the table-turning prediction is true…?

 

We listened to this whilst on a long weekend in Devon as it seemed an appropriate choice!  I see from YouTube that ITV shoehorned this into a Marple episode, despite the actual crime being investigated by a character called Inspector Narracott and actually solved by Emily, the finance of one of several suspects! 

 

There are plenty of red herrings along the way – we guessed who had committed the crime, but not the why and definitely not the how, which was a clever twist, I thought!  We also liked the nod to the Hound of the Baskervilles which I was reading alongside listening to this.  So, not one of my absolute favourite Christies, but definitely worth a read (or listen!).  I would be interested to watch the Marple version now, even if she shouldn't be in it, to see how it compares!

 

The paperback edition is 288 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. It was first published in 1931. The ISBN is 9780008196233. 

 

3/5 (I liked it)

 

(Finished 8 April 2017)

 

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 027-2017-Apr-18-Beyond%20Black_zpsiocvln

 

Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel

 

The ‘blurb’

A comically sinister tale of wicked spirits and suburban mediums from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’.

 

Alison Hart, a medium by trade, tours the dormitory towns of London’s orbital ring road with her flint-hearted sidekick, Colette, passing on messages from beloved dead ancestors. But behind her plump, smiling persona hides a desperate woman: she knows the terrors the next life holds but must conceal them from her wide-eyed clients. At the same time she is plagued by spirits from her own past, who infiltrate her body and home, becoming stronger and nastier the more she resists…

 

Shortlisted for the Orange Prize, Hilary Mantel’s supremely suspenseful novel is a masterpiece of dark humour and even darker secrets.

 

Alison is a woman with an awful past, having been abused by her mother and her mother's clients as a young girl.  Now she is a successful medium with a cold and waspish assistant called Collette, who found Alison whilst searching through many alternative therapies after the breakdown of her marriage to her boring and largely incompatible husband, Gavin. 

 

Alison, with Collette in tow, takes to the road travelling to various psychic events across southern England.  The pair are also accompanied by Alison's nasty spirit guide - an odious man called Morris – and various other sprits from her past and threaten to destroy the life that Alison has made for herself.

 

I really don't know how to go about reviewing this book!  It was chosen for Book Club by a member who simply adores Mantel, especially Wolf Hall and its sequel.  All I can say is that I really didn't warm to the characters in the book.  I suspect that is the point – they are all flawed, and none of them loveable, but I would definitely have put this down if it wasn't for book club as I just couldn't care less what happened to Alison et al!

 

It was my first book by this author and if I didn't know how many people love her Tudor books it would definitely be my last – as it is, I might be persuaded to try another, but with so many other books out there, I think it's pretty unlikely!

 

The paperback edition is 480 pages long and is published by Fourth Estate. It was first published in 2005. The ISBN is 9780007157761. 

 

2/5 (It was okay)

 

(Finished 18 April 2017)

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There was a very good radio version of this a few years ago with Alison Steadman as Alison and yes, Morris was vile!

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I know I must have mentioned it before but I disliked Beyond Black immensely, and no matter how much praise people lavish on the Wolf Hall novels, I just can't bring myself to pick up another Mantel.  2/5 seems a very generous score to me ;)

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On 10/06/2017 at 0:04 PM, Madeleine said:

There was a very good radio version of this a few years ago with Alison Steadman as Alison and yes, Morris was vile!

I love Alison Steadman, but I don't think even her narrating it would induce me to listen again!  :giggle:

 

On 10/06/2017 at 1:41 PM, chesilbeach said:

I know I must have mentioned it before but I disliked Beyond Black immensely, and no matter how much praise people lavish on the Wolf Hall novels, I just can't bring myself to pick up another Mantel.  2/5 seems a very generous score to me ;)

The score is higher due to the book club meeting we had, which was a good one, because a couple of people really enjoyed it so we had opposing views which led to lots of discussion.  If it wasn't for book club I definitely would have abandoned it!  :D

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I'm so behind with my reviews.   AGAIN!  :rolleyes:

 

In the past few weeks I have bought two new editions of A Christmas Carol.  Just how many editions would be too many?  Asking for a friend...  :giggle2:

 

A Christmas Carol 14.pngA Christmas Carol 01.png

 

I am also so chuffed, because I've been collecting the John Wyndham Penguins with the colour illustrations by Peter Lord.  There are 10 in total, and I've had six of them but hadn't found any for a few years.  So I was very chuffed to find one in a second-hand shop in Lyme Regis on Saturday.  Imagine my surprise then to find another one in the Oxfam shop in Salisbury yesterday.  :exc:

 

Wyndham The Seeds of Time.jpgWyndham Consider Her Ways and Others.jpg

 

Just two left to find!  :yes:

 

 

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Those covers are incredible J :)

 

Reviews? What are reviews? I have just come up to the end of March myself...

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Thanks. :)

 

1 hour ago, Alexi said:

Reviews? What are reviews? I have just come up to the end of March myself...

:giggle2:

 

And yet, here I am procrastinating!

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Nice new books :). Can I ask how many editions of A Christmas Carol you own now? I'm curious to know  :). Whatever the number, I'm sure it's very impressive :) (I would call it impressive rather than too many.).

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Hehe, thanks,  @Athena. I have 16 so far.  A drop in the ocean of the hundreds of editions out there. :)  I'm not sure how it started really.  It is one of my absolute favourite books and I re-read it every year.  

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1 hour ago, Athena said:

Nice new books :). Can I ask how many editions of A Christmas Carol you own now? I'm curious to know  :). Whatever the number, I'm sure it's very impressive :) (I would call it impressive rather than too many.).

I agree! I think it's lovely :) 

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23 hours ago, Janet said:

Hehe, thanks,  @Athena. I have 16 so far.  A drop in the ocean of the hundreds of editions out there. :)  I'm not sure how it started really.  It is one of my absolute favourite books and I re-read it every year.  

 

Amazing :D!! I saw the picture on Instagram :).

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On 17/06/2017 at 8:25 AM, Athena said:

Amazing :D!! I saw the picture on Instagram :).

Hehe - thanks!  :D

 

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