Sep. 24th, 2010

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The one positive side of being off work ill is the chance I've had to get stuck into some books. Ever since becoming seriously depressed last year and starting on the don't be mad pills, my concentration span for written material has faded to something akin to that of a goldfish. However, as I mentioned yesterday I read Company of Liars cover to cover, and this morning I read a few Conan the Barbarian short stories (Robert E Howard originals, naturally).

Company of Liars, Karen Maitland.
It's a strange book. The plague, which is the backdrop to the whole plot, doesn't feature as heavily as I thought it would, although it is still there in the background as a menace, forcing the protagonists onwards. All the characters in the travelling party are dysfunctional, of course. There's cross dressing, incest, homosexuality, blasphemy, Jews, magic, murder and death. I wouldn't have said the twists were especially unexpected, but maybe that was the plan, as I was able to see where the story was going with particular characters some pages before it was made explicit by the writer. By the end I found myself frustrated with the remaining party members' refusal to see what was happening, and was a little disappointed with the very ending. That said, it was a very good book that kept me gripped from beginning to end.


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May 2011

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