Thursday, October 19, 2006

Horses for Courses

I've been trying to read a Martha Grimes novel, "The Blue Last". It's not doing it for me. Slow. A thousand seemingly irrelevant sub-plots (no doubt she'll weave them in sooner or later but I skipped a whole chapter to avoid one sub-plot I thought was stupid and pointless). A main character who seems to be the world's most dithering, inactive policeman, and whose idea of investigation is to put his friend, Lord Something-or-other, on the property (undercover) as a forelock-tugging gardener.
I talk to students about credibility in fiction - the gardener thing was the last straw. Back to the library it goes.
And thank heavens for libraries where you can try out authors before you buy!

1 comment:

Snail said...

Noooooo! Not Martha Grimes. Appalling characterisation and a tin ear for dialogue.

Oh, and names. She is dreadful at names. Melrose Plant? Vivian Rivington? Marshall Trueblood? Scroggs the publican? They make a fictional policeman called Jury sound vaguely acceptable.

I struggled through 'I am the only running footman'. At first I thought it was a parody. (Have you ever seen 'The Comic Strip Presents ... Detectives on the edge of a nervous breakdown'?) But I think she's deadly serious. Gak! Never again.