Recently Read - 12th June 2008
By user12607856 on Jun 11, 2008
Here's a list of the books I've recently read, with an Amazon-style star rating and a few comments.
- The Best Man To Die - Ruth Rendell
Another Chief Inspector Wexford novel. Not here best.
- Fables of Aesop - Trans: S. A. Handford
I never read these when I was a kid. I wish I had. Some good lessons to live by, though they got a tad repetitious near the end. Too many variations on a theme.
- Florence of Arabia - Christopher Buckley
- No Way To Treat A First Lady - Christopher Buckley
One more to go, then I've read all of Buckley's novels so far. Great political satire. I particularly enjoyed No Way..., the "Trial of the Millenium":
"There are few spectacles more pathetic than a roomful of otherwise responsible people trying to squirm out of a civic duty enshrined in Magna Carta as one of the signal boons of democracy. On the other hand, who in their right mind wants to serve on a jury?"
One of the best aspects of his novels is the names he uses. Also lots of pot slots at Clinton, O.J. and numerous others.
Three more from the Salon.com list:
- The Street Lawyer - John Grisham
My first Grisham novel. There was no doubt that it was a page-turner, but I don't think I'll be reading another of his for a while. There are too many other new authors I want to try first.
- Story of my Life - Jay McInerney
More white punks on dope. Very funny in places but it was hard to give a damn about any of the characters.
- Moonraker - Ian Fleming
The books are nothing like the films. The plots are simpler (and in this case dated - it was written in 1955). Bond gets hurt a lot more and doesn't always get the girl at the end. For this one, I actually watched the film (with Roger Moore) after I'd finished the book, just to see what, if anything, was the same. Virtually nothing. The villians name, and an oblique reference by M to having played bridge against Drax.
The film does have that classic innuendo from Q at the end though, which partly makes up for the rest of it.
And finally four more books of famous plays:
- Cat On A Hot Tin Roof - Tennessee Williams
The original film version of this is superb.
- After The Fall - Arthur Miller
I've never seen it, but this play must have been a bitch to put on in a theater, in it's original form. Of course, you can always just totally change it.
- The Pygmalion - George Bernard Shaw
The book also provides notes on the meaning of the more obscure words and phrases, plus a "what happens next" section.
- The Comedy of Neil Simon - Neil Simon
Seven of his plays. I loved The Star-Spangled Girl. Laugh out loud funny. It was also good to read the original play of The Odd Couple (as opposed to the TV series), and confirm that it would be impossible for a slob and a neat-freak to continue living together in harmony.